M1 Host Old Georgians On Saturday Evening
By Colin Pike
Surbiton men face a top of the table clash when they entertain Elmbridge neighbours Old Georgians at 5.30 pm at Sugden Road.
Old Georgians come to Surbiton with a five point lead at the top of the Men's Hockey League Premier Division Top Six table, but will be missing Liam Sanford and Sam Ward, both on duty with England in the FIH Pro League in Argentina.
Surbiton are without five players with James Gall, David Goodfield, Tim Nurse, Nick Park and Tom Sorsby also with England, in addition to players unavailability due to injury.
Old Georgians won 2-0 at home in the last game of 2021 in November, when Lee Morton kept up his record of scoring in every Premier Division meeting with Surbiton.
The two previous meetings had proved to be thrillers with Old Georgians drawing 3-3 at Sugden Road after narrowly losing 4-3 at St. George's College under the floodlights.
Old Georgians have won all their league games this season with the exception of a 2-0 defeat at Wimbledon in October. Their defence has been spectacularly sound, especially at home where Matt Guise-Brown's opener for Hampstead & Westminster was only the second goal conceded. before Old Georgians fought back to win 3-1.
Old Georgians started the season in excellent form winning 4-0 at home to Beeston, 5-1 at the University of Exeter and thrashing East Grinstead 7-0.
A narrow 2-1 win at Holcombe was followed by a 6-0 win over Durham University before the Old Georgians juggernaut was temporarily halted at Wimbledon.
The defeat proved to be a short-lived setback as Hampstead were beaten 5-0 on their own pitch with Oxted beaten 5-1 and Brooklands Manchester University 10-0 in the North-West before the subsequent victories over Surbiton and Hampstead.
The strength of Old Georgians' attacking prowess is proved by the fact that 15 players have scored for them this season with their next goal set to be the 50th of their campaign.
Ward, ruled out for some of the campaign due to a hand injury before winning back his place in the England pro league squad scored eleven goals with former Surbiton player James Tindall joining Tom Carson on eight. Edward Carson and James Carson are on five and three respectively, with Elliott Messem, Morton, Nick Page and Ashley Jackson all on two. James Albery, Tom Doran, Chris Griffiths, Chris Proctor, Dan Shingles and Sanford have all found the net once.
Also on Saturday night, Wimbledon are at home to East Grinstead, with Hampstead & Westminster hosting Holcombe on Saturday afternoon.
In the Bottom 5, Beeston are at home to Durham University and the University of Exeter welcome Oxted to Devon on Sunday.