M1 Beat East Grinstead 4-1 On Saturday Night
By Matt Jones
Surbiton Men went back to the top of the Men's Hockey League Premier Division table with a 4-1 home win over East Grinstead on Saturday night.
It was another very satisfying win for high flying Surbiton and as importantly the manner of the performance further demonstrated how they are developing as a group, despite another much changed lineup due to injury and the ongoing unavailability of GB players.
This paved the way however for two more premiership debuts from Surbiton colts Ollie Shelton and Finn Cooper who equipped themselves admirably throughout, alongside two other recent debutants Josh Redstone and Theun de Leeuw.
After some early pressure from the visitors, Surbiton began to take charge and threaten the visitors with trademark forays into their circle. The large crowd didn’t have to wait long before Arjan Drayton-Chana scored with a blistering strike past Paddy Smith in the 9th minute.
Surbiton continued to control the pace of the game making their opponents work hard but the pressure told 7 minutes later with the hosts' diligence paying off, winning their first penalty corner of the game which Luke Taylor clinically despatched past Smith in the 16th minute to finish the first quarter 2-0 up.
Despite the sustained efforts of the Sussex side, Surbiton remained resilient and continued to pile on the pressure through the second quarter and it was from Surbiton’s second penalty corner of the game that Taylor stood up and lashed in his second of the match to make it two from two and 3-0 up going into the half time break.
The third quarter continued in the same fashion as the first two with Surbiton commanding the game, making East Grinstead work hard until they cracked once more conceding a well won corner that Taylor once again rocketed past Smith to make it 4-0 and put the match beyond the visitors in the 51st minute.
East Grinstead scored a consolation penalty corner goal through Simon Faulkner 7 minutes from time but victory was already secured for Surbiton who took back top spot in the league with a two point lead over Old Georgians.
Surbiton stayed at the top of the table after Sunday's round of matches. Old Georgians came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at home to Holcombe but are one point behind Surbiton having played a game more.
Hampstead & Westminster won 4-3 at Reading to stay third with Wimbledon remaining in fourth after their 2-0 home win over Beeston.
Brooklands Manchester University moved up to seventh after a hard fought 3-2 win at the University of Exeter.
Surbiton are at home to Holcombe next Saturday (26 October) push back 6 pm.