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M1 At Home To Wimbledon On Saturday Evening


13th October 2023

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Men welcome Wimbledon to Sugden Road for another local derby in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday evening (push back 6 pm).

Wimbledon were last at Sugden Road in April when they visited in successive weeks in the League Finals competition. Surbiton won 4-2 in the third-place playoff, having needed a 3-1 shootout win the previous weekend to finish top of Pool B a point ahead of Wimbledon after a 4-4 draw.

Surbiton and Wimbledon are two of five teams locked together on nine points, having won three and lost one of their first four games. Surbiton are second on goals scored with Holcombe in third and Wimbledon in fourth, all having a goal difference of plus seven. 

Wimbledon started the season with a 5-2 home win over Beeston before a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Oxted. The setback came in a 2-0 home defeat by Old Georgians, however Wimbledon bounced back last weekend with a 2-0 home win over East Grinstead.

Ed Horler has proved to be as reliable as ever and is currently Wimbledon's leading goalscorer with three goals. Rory Patterson has scored twice, with Wimbledon's attacking prowess illustrated by the other six goals being shared between six players. Rhys Bradshaw, Charlie Stubbings, Jonny Lankfer, Ben Francis, Ian Sloan and Connor Greentree have all contributed so far this campaign.

Surbiton were in supreme scoring form in a goal-fest at Southgate, Struan Walker scoring four goals and Louis Gittens twice in a 7-3 victory. Struan is the division's leading goalscorer on seven goals, one ahead of Beeston's Henry Croft and Hampstead's Matt Guise-Brown. 

Surbiton had ended Old Georgians' unbeaten run with a 3-2 away win after a morale boosting 5-2 home win over Hampstead & Westminster, but were brought back down to earth by Holcombe, 3-2 winners at Sugden Road before the Kent club ventured to Barcelona in the KO16 of the Euro Hockey League, losing narrowly 1-0 to hosts Polo Club at the KO8 stage.

Wimbledon have been members of the Premier Division since 2013-14 and in the early days, dominated Surbiton in the top-flight, Surbiton having to wait until October 2017 for their first win in the series, 2-1 at Wimbledon. In recent seasons, it has been Surbiton's turn to dominate, with Wimbledon's last win coming at Sugden Road in March 2020, when Phil Roper, now with Holcombe, scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 win. 

There have also been some memorable draws in addition to last season's League Finals experience. The teams drew 5-5 at Wimbledon in March 2022 and Surbiton made a late comeback to draw 3-3 in normal time in the Championships final at Lee Valley in April 2017 before becoming league champions after winning the shootout 3-2.

Those supporters unable to attend Sugden Road can watch the match via the Surbiton Hockey Club channel on You Tube here

Elsewhere on Saturday, leaders Hampstead & Westminster are at home to Southgate; Holcombe return to host Oxted at Holcombe Park and Old Georgians, who qualified for the EHL FINAL8 at Easter 2024 after wins over Mannheimer and Waterloo Ducks, welcome Reading to St. George's College. 

Cardiff & Met travel to West Sussex to play East Grinstead and the University of Nottingham travel across the Nottingham Hockey Centre car park to face Beeston in a very local derby.