This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept

M1 Visit Exeter On Saturday Evening


21st October 2022

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Men make the long trip to the University of Exeter for the first time since October 2019 when they face the Devon students on Saturday evening (push back 5.30 pm).

Surbiton won 8-2 on that occasion and were 7-0 victors when Exeter visited Sugden Road last October, but Exeter will want to put in an improved performance in front of their home crowd on Saturday night.

Exeter lost 4-1 at Wimbledon last week and are unbeaten at home, having to settle for a share of the spoils with Brooklands Manchester University after the visitors' last minute equaliser earned a 2-2 draw in their last home game. A single goal was enough to send Oxted back to Surrey without any points and Exeter were unlucky to go down 3-2 at East Grinstead in their first game of the season.

Exeter will be without Ollie Drummond, Ben Fox and Lewis Wilcher who are all in Malaysia in the Great Britain squad aiming to defend their Sultan of Johor title won in 2019.

Drummond is one of Exeter's four scorers who have found the net once this season alongside Seb Ansley, Billy Collins and Jacob Payton. Louis Ridge has scored twice for the Devon team this season.

Meanwhile, Surbiton lead both Old Georgians and Wimbledon by a single point, although their nearest rivals both have a game in hand due to their participation in the Euro Hockey League in Hamburg earlier this season. The rearranged game is scheduled to take place at Old Georgians on 12 November.

Surbiton had to battle to return from Manchester with all three points last Sunday with Louis Gittens and Gareth Furlong both scoring twice at Brooklands Manchester University to come away with a 4-3 win.

After an opening 2-2 draw at Holcombe, Surbiton had two comfortable home victories over East Grinstead (6-0) and Oxted (5-1) although Oxted opened the scoring under the Sugden Road floodlights. Having travelled to the North West last week, Surbiton have their second successive long trip this weekend and will hope to come back from Devon with all three points safely secured.

Luke Taylor is Surbiton's leading goalscorer with four goals including a penalty stroke but has had excellent support from Gittens, Furlong and Alex Williams who have all scored three goals this season. Arjan Drayton Chana has scored twice with Adam Buckle and David Goodfield scoring once apiece.

All the MHL Premier Division games are being played on Saturday with Old Georgians visiting Caterham School to take on Surrey rivals, Oxted. Oxted moved to Caterham School this season, but were at Oxted School when Oxted last hosted in February 2019, the game ending in a 3-3 draw. And there are still memories of Old Georgians' outstanding 10-6 home win in October 2020.

Wimbledon go to Reading for the first time since February 2020. Wimbledon have won 6-1 and 5-1 in Berkshire in the past, but Reading have also had their share of wins since the teams first met in the top flight in 2013-14.

Hampstead & Westminster welcome Brooklands Manchester University to London, and will be hoping to extend their run of home wins over the Manchester students to six; Brooklands winning for the only time away to Hampstead in November 2014 (1-0).

Beeston host East Grinstead for the first time since September 2019 in a fixture which has seen its share of interesting scorelines with Beeston winning 8-6 in March 2012 and East Grinstead winning 6-5 in Apr 2008. That game was the last of the 2007-08 season and by a quirk of fate, Beeston hosted East Grinstead in the first game of 2008-09, East Grinstead winning again, this time 4-2.

It's Holcombe's turn to help the University of Nottingham make national league history as the teams meet at national level for the first time. Nottingham lost 8-1 at home to Old Georgians in their Premier Division debut, but drew 0-0 at Oxted last week in a match where defences came out on top.