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M1 Host Holcombe On Saturday Evening


29th September 2023

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Men will aim to maintain their challenge for the Men's Hockey League Premier Division when they host Holcombe on Saturday night (push back 6 pm at Sugden Road).

Holcombe missed the chance to go three points clear at the top of the table on Thursday night, when Old Georgians won 2-1 at Holcombe Park. James Albery scored for Old Georgians in the third minute, with James Carson doubling the visitors' lead in the 16th minute. Nick Bandurak pulled a goal back in the 43rd minute and had a second goal ruled out as the reigning champions got back to winning ways after losing 3-2 at home to Surbiton last Saturday night.

Surbiton last played Holcombe at home in the semi-final of the League Finals, Holcombe winning 2-1, thanks to Bandurak's brace as the Kent club won for only the second time at Sugden Road since Holcombe were promoted to the Premier Division in 2014-15.

Holcombe won a thriller in March 2018, prevailing 4-3 on the same day that Holcombe's women beat Surbiton 2-1 in the part one of a double header. Holcombe Women will also be at Sugden Road on Saturday as they will be playing Surbiton's second team in Division One South.

Surbiton have won six out of eight regular season Premier Division home games, including a 7-1 victory in April 2022 and 6-4 in September 2021. The first-ever meeting at Sugden Road ended with honours even in a 1-1 draw in February 2016.

Holcombe's game with Old Georgians was brought forward from 7 October as both teams will be in Barcelona to compete in the Euro Hockey League KO16. Holcombe meet Racing Club de France and Old Georgians will take on Mannheimer.

Holcombe went into Thursday's match as joint leaders with Wimbledon after beating Reading 4-0 at home and winning 5-2 at newly-promoted Southgate. Bandurak's goal was his fourth of the season, with Phil Roper on three and Tim Guise-Brown, Tom Russell and Sam Taylor all scoring once.

Surbiton will be delighted with their start, following up their 5-2 home win over Hampstead & Westminster by winning 3-2 at Old Georgians, who went unbeaten throughout the 2022-23 season in domestic competition.

New signing, Struan Walker is Surbiton's top scorer with three goals, closely followed by Luke Taylor and Gareth Furlong, whose penalty corner exploits have earned them two goals apiece, Tim Nurse also having scored against Hampstead.

Those supporters unable to watch the match at Sugden Road can view the game via the Surbiton Hockey Club livestream on You Tube here

Elsewhere on Saturday, Wimbledon, now leaders on goal difference from Holcombe, are at home to Old Georgians in the regularly scheduled match. Old Georgians have had problems with Wimbledon in recent seasons. Before Surbiton, Wimbledon were the last team to beat Old Georgians, also winning 3-2 at St. George's College in the final game of the 2021-22 season. Wimbledon also made Old Georgians battle for their final place in last season's League Finals, holding Old Georgians to a goalless draw before missing out after losing the shootout 4-3.

Hampstead & Westminster visit Reading; Beeston host newly-promoted Southgate; Cardiff & Met, who won 3-2 at Reading last weekend for their first ever Premier Division victory, will hope to make further progress at home to Oxted and the University of Nottingham travel to East Grinstead.