M1 Visit Holcombe On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men travel to Holcombe on Sunday in their latest match in the Men's Premier Division Top Six.
The match at Holcombe Park (1.15 pm) is a rematch of the Phase One fixture on the opening day of the season when Surbiton mounted a comeback from 4-2 down to win 6-4.
Holcombe were promoted from the Conference East in 2014-15 and recorded victories over Surbiton on their first three visits to Holcombe Park, going down 3-1 in 2015-16, 3-2 in 2016-17 and 4-2 in 2017-18,
But the tide turned in November 2018, when after Nick Bandurak gave Holcombe an early lead, Surbiton stormed to a 6-1 win with Alan Forsyth scoring four goals and Tom Sorsby and David Goodfield also on target.
And on their most recent visit in December 2019, Luke Taylor's hat-trick earned Surbiton a 3-2 win, Hayden Phillips and Bandurak replying for Holcombe.
Surbiton go into the match eight points behind leaders, Old Georgians, whilst Holcombe are fifth, thirteen points behind Old Georgians. Holcombe went close to recording a win at East Grinstead last weekend, but East Grinstead levelled near the end in a 3-3 draw and Holcombe's six game winning streak which started on Halloween, also ended in horrific circumstances as Hampstead & Westminster were awarded a 5-0 win due to Holcombe being unable to field an appropriate goalkeeper.
Holcombe followed up their opening day defeat with a 3-0 home win over Durham University, but like Surbiton towards the end of 2021, stuttered when they came up against Wimbledon (lost 2-1), Old Georgians (lost 2-1) and Hampstead & Westminster (drew 2-2).
A 2-1 home win over East Grinstead was the catalyst for Holcombe's six game winning run, continued with a 7-2 win over the University of Exeter; 5-2 at home to Beeston; 4-0 at home to Oxted; 8-2 at Brooklands Manchester University and a narrow win at home to Wimbledon (1-0) when the teams met for the second time this season.
Surbiton had to come from 2-0 down last Saturday to claim all three points in a 3-2 home win over Hampstead & Westminster, Luke Taylor and Gareth Furlong's penalty corners coming to Surbiton's rescue with Furlong converting the decider mere seconds before the final whistle.
Surbiton will be hoping for a hat-trick of victories on the Medway, whilst Holcombe will want to close the gap on Surbiton.
Old Georgians are at home to East Grinstead, who are all but certain to finish sixth, having achieved their task of qualifying for the Top Six and Wimbledon, in third place behind Surbiton on goal difference, visit fourth placed Hampstead & Westminster, both teams hoping that Surbiton will slip up in Kent.
In the Bottom 5, Beeston have their first of two bye weeks while Brooklands Manchester University host Oxted and Durham University welcome the University of Exeter to the North East.