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W1 At Home To Clifton Robinsons On Saturday Afternoon


17th November 2023

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Women conclude Phase One of the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division when they welcome Clifton Robinsons to Sugden Road on Saturday (push back 2 pm).

Supporters unable to get to Sugden Road can watch the livestream via the Surbiton Hockey Club channel on You Tube here

Surbiton are guaranteed a first-place finish with a five point lead over second-placed Reading, but will want to end 2023 in style and extend their winning streak to ten matches since their opening day defeat at Reading.

Surbiton's attack and defence have both been key factors as they boast the scoring record with 36 goals from their first ten games, seven ahead of Hampstead & Westminster's 29 goal tally and they also have the best defensive record with just eight goals conceded, including four clean sheets.

Clifton Robinsons come to Surbiton in contention for a Top Six place with four points separating fifth to ninth places. Surbiton, Reading and Hampstead & Westminster are all assured of their Top Six places with East Grinstead all but qualified.

Clifton are a point behind sixth placed Bowdon, but with an inferior goal difference are likely to need to beat Surbiton to have any chance of finishing in the Top Six.

Clifton started the season with a 2-0 win at newly-promoted Isca & University of Exeter before drawing 2-2 at home to Wimbledon. The pattern repeated with a 3-1 win at Beeston followed by a second 2-2 home draw, this time against the University of Birmingham.

Clifton's form then dipped with two successive defeats: 4-0 at East Grinstead and 2-0 at home to Reading. They bounced back with a 2-1 home win over Loughborough Students before making the long trip to Bowdon and coming back with a point after their third 2-2 draw of the season.

Hampstead & Westminster proved too strong with a 5-0 home win and last weekend, Evie Grindal's goal seven minutes from time earned a 3-3 home draw with the University of Nottingham.

Livvy Hoskins and Sarah-Jayne Thorburn are Clifton's joint top scorers with four goals apiece with Grindal on three. Jess Lea, former Surbiton player Holly Munro, Carmen Ansley, Rebecca Daniel and Phoebe Richards have all scored once this season for the Bristol based club.

Hannah French is not only Surbiton's top scorer with ten goals, but leads the way in the Premier Division, one ahead of East Grinstead's Tess Howard. With Sophie Hamilton on six goals and Martha Taylor and Leah Wilkinson both on five, Surbiton have plenty of options to score goals with eleven players having scored this season.

French scored twice last season in Surbiton's 5-0 home victory last December, but Surbiton had to battle for a 2-1 win in Bristol in February.

Clifton have only ever beaten Surbiton once in the Premier Division, in March 2020 when Kathryn Lane's goal clinched a 1-0 victory.

As it's the final round of matches in Phase One, all games will start at 2 pm. 

Second-placed Reading are at home to eleventh-placed Beeston, who have had a disappointing season following the progress made in recent seasons. 

Third-placed Hampstead & Westminster host Bowdon, who are in danger of missing out on a Top Six place after going unbeaten in their first eight games, probably because five games were drawn.

Fourth-placed East Grinstead travel to tenth-placed Loughborough Students, whilst fifth-placed University of Nottingham host seventh-placed Wimbledon in an important match as Wimbledon are a point off the Top Six.

The University of Birmingham, who can still mathematically qualify for the Top Six if results go their way, visit bottom club Isca & University of Exeter.