Guckian and Bourne Star As L1 Beat East Grinstead
By Colin Pike
Youngsters Emily Guckian and Darcy Bourne both scored as Surbiton Ladies beat East Grinstead 2-1 at Sugden Road to keep pace with leaders Hampstead & Westminster.
Hampstead lead Surbiton at the top of the investec Women's Hockey League Premier Division courtesy of a two better goal difference with both teams still boasting one hundred per cent records after three matches.
Hampstead beat Clifton Robinsons 3-2 at Paddington Recreation Ground after Surbiton inflicted East Grinstead's third defeat of the seasons on a day when the visitors could feel that luck was not on their side.
East Grinstead included four former Surbiton players in their squad: Sophie Bray, Lucy Holder, Harriet Mitchell and Chloe Palmer.
Surbiton needed just 39 seconds to force a penalty corner which Hannah Martin fired wide of the target.
In the eighth minute Emily Defroand forced a save from visiting goalkeeper Millie Regan before Chloe Brown cleared.
Guckian had come close to scoring in both of Surbiton's previous matches at Loughborough and at home to Beeston, but she made no mistake from the left of the circle in the twelfth minute, the ball rebounding off the backboard.
Defroand and Holly Payne were both denied by Regan in the 23rd minute and Surbiton captain, Sarah Evans followed suit in the 33rd minute.
However, Surbiton led 2-0 when Evans' shot was saved, Bourne's excellent finish having cemented the hosts' advantage in the 31st minute.
East Grinstead thought they had scored shortly before half time, but the goal was ruled out adding to the visitors' frustration.
Their frustration was eased three minutes into the second half when Ellie Rayer pulled a goal back with a shot into the right corner of the goal.
Whereas, Surbiton converted three penalty corners at home to Beeston, East Grinstead defended all seven penalty corners they faced.
East Grinstead had four awards with Surbiton breaking away from the third, Guckian coming close to score her second goal of the match in the 43rd minute only for Regan to save.
Eloise Stenner worked with Payne and Bourne in the East Grinstead half.
Evans was injured in the 50th minute after being hit in the face by a deflected ball but after treatment was able to walk off the pitch towards the Surbiton bench.
Holding a one goal lead, Surbiton took the ball to the attacking corners to run down the clock and secure their third win of the season.
Hampstead needed two goals in the last five minutes to beat Clifton Robinsons 3-2.
Buckingham stayed third, two points off the lead with a 3-1 home victory over the University of Birmingham.
Holcombe are fourth following their 3-2 win at Beeston and Bowdon moved up to fifth after they won 2-1 at Loughborough Students.