L1s Battle to Victory at Loughborough Students
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies had to battle against newly promoted Loughborough Students before coming away with a 3-2 victory on Saturday.
Loughborough took the game to Surbiton in the early minutes with former Surbiton player Izzy Petter becoming an attacking threat and Hannah Grieve having a sixth minute penalty corner opportunity.
However it was Surbiton’s penalty corner routine which led to the deadlock being broken in the tenth minute. Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick was glove saved by Loughborough goalkeeper Miriam Pritchard, only for Georgie Twigg to finish at the left post.
Three minutes later, the reigning champions doubled their advantage, Susie Catlin running along Loughborough’s backline before crossing from the right for Alice Sharp to poke home from short range.
With national league matches being split into four quarters this season, Loughborough pulled a goal back at the end of the first quarter, Petter slipping the ball under Surbiton goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh to score on her Loughborough debut.
At the start of the second quarter, Loughborough were on level terms, Beth Peers’ deflection delighting the enthusiastic home supporters as the momentum shifted towards the newcomers.
The teams went into the half time break level at 2-2 but within five minutes of the start of the third quarter, Emily Defroand scored what proved to be the winning goal from open play.
Loughborough didn’t give up with Petter forcing a fine save from Heesh and in the 51st minute, missing a golden chance to level the scores again, Lucy Millington slotting a penalty stroke wide of the right post.
In the last ten minutes, Loughborough put immense pressure on the Surbiton defence, forcing four penalty corners which the visitors managed to defend. However, Surbiton ended the game with nine players after both Ansley and Holly Payne were shown yellow cards in the penultimate minute and Loughborough were only denied a point when their sixth and final penalty corner was cleared in the final minute.
Loughborough should take heart from their first appearance in the Premier Division since 2000-01 and Surbiton will be relieved to go into next Saturday’s home match with Beeston with a win under their belts.
Beeston lost 4-1 at home to a Hampstead and Westminster squad making their debut in the top flight, Sarah Robertson scoring twice alongside Grace Balsdon and Joyce Esser with Rosy Stephens scoring Beeston’s consolation goal.
SHC Player of the Match vs Loughborough Students: Sabbie Heesh