M1 At Home To Beeston On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men play their last Men's Hockey League Premier Division match of 2022 when they host Beeston at Sugden Road on Sunday afternoon (4 December) push back 2 pm.
With the last round of matches before the season split scheduled for this weekend, all the MHL Premier Division matches are being played on Sunday at 2 pm.
Surbiton saw the gap between themselves and leaders Old Georgians extended to five points after last Saturday night's 2-1 home defeat to their local rivals, but Surbiton will be keen to keep third placed Wimbledon, a point behind at bay with a win over the Nottingham club.
However Beeston also have an incentive to win as they trail sixth placed Reading by two points, knowing that if Reading slip up at home to Hampstead & Westminster, Beeston can snatch sixth place with a win over Surbiton. Oxted are level with Beeston but with a three worse goal difference, but they can also snatch sixth place if they beat East Grinstead at home.
Beeston started the season with a 2-1 defeat at Oxted, before a 2-1 home win over Reading. A 6-1 defeat at Hampstead & Westminster and a 5-0 home defeat to Old Georgians saw Beeston lose ground in the race for a Top Six place and although they drew 1-1 at home to East Grinstead, they lost 3-1 at Wimbledon.
A hard fought 1-0 home win over Brooklands Manchester University with former Surbiton player Jamie Golden converting a last second penalty corner and a 2-0 win across the Nottingham Hockey Centre car park at the University of Nottingham gave them hope of reaching the Top Six, only for a disappointing 5-3 loss at the University of Exeter and a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Holcombe making the task more difficult.
Golden and Gareth Griffiths are Beeston's leading goalscorers on three goals apiece with Oliver Ashdown, Rohan Bhuhi and Henry Croft all scoring twice.
George Fletcher, Robbie Gleeson and Balraj Panesar have each scored once.
Meetings between Surbiton and Beeston go back to 1999-2000 and incredibly, in spite of Beeston's league successes in the past, Surbiton have only lost twice in home matches in 2007-08 when Beeston won 3-1 and in 2018-19 when current Surbiton player, Nick Park scored the fourth goal in Beeston's 4-3 win.
There have been some goalfests in the past with Surbiton winning 5-4 in 2017-18 and 2011-12. Surbiton also won 6-4 in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Overall the teams have met 32 times in the regular season and there has not been a draw recorded in the fixture.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Old Georgians are at home to Brooklands Manchester University; Wimbledon travel to the University of Nottingham and Holcombe host the University of Exeter.