W1 Visit Loughborough On Saturday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Women visit Loughborough Students on Saturday for a Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division clash (push back 2 pm).
Surbiton go into the match in second place, a point behind leaders Bowdon, following a three game unbeaten run after their 3-2 opening day defeat at Reading.
Loughborough Students find themselves at the bottom of the table after four matches on two points, but only three points away from a mid-table placing in a congested league table.
Ironically, both points have come away from home with Loughborough drawing 3-3 at the University of Nottingham on the opening day of the season, and a goalless draw at Wimbledon.
On home turf in Leicestershire, Loughborough lost 2-1 at home to Reading and Bowdon won 3-0 last week to go a point clear at the top after Clifton Robinsons drew 2-2 at home to the University of Birmingham and Reading lost 4-3 at the University of Nottingham.
Amy Cradden, Keira Foster, Maddie Goodman and Beth Alexander have all found the net once for Loughborough this season.
Surbiton won 5-0 at Loughborough Students on the opening day of last season, Sophie Hamilton scoring a hat-trick with Steph Elliott and Alice Wills also on target.
Loughborough travelled to Sugden Road for the meeting in November 2021, the only time they have met in the Premier Division in Elmbridge, Surbiton winning 4-2.
The match in the truncated 2020-21 season ended goalless, whilst Surbiton were Loughborough's first opposition in the top-flight when they returned in 2019-20 for the first time since their first-ever season in 2000-01. Surbiton won 3-2 in Leicestershire, but Loughborough came close to securing a point when Lucy Millington failed to convert a penalty stroke. Current Surbiton player, Izzy Petter scored Loughborough's first goal in that match.
Surbiton's Hannah French is on a run of scoring braces in successive matches, having scored twice against Isca in the 6-1 win, both goals at the University of Birmingham in the 2-0 victory and in the 3-1 home win over Hampstead and Westminster. Hannah is the division's joint top scorer with Nottingham's Jordan Homann on six goals.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Bowdon are at home to Wimbledon; third-placed Clifton Robinsons travel to West Sussex to face East Grinstead; fourth-placed Reading host the University of Birmingham and Beeston have a very local derby at home to the University of Birmingham. Isca & The University of Exeter, having visited Bowdon and Surbiton for their first two away games, face another long trip to London to take on Hampstead & Westminster.