Oh Brother, Hampstead End M1's 100 Per Cent Record
By Colin Pike
Hampstead & Westminster ended Surbiton Men's 100% record in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division by holding them to a 1-1 draw at a wet and windy Paddington Recreation Ground on Sunday afternoon.
And honours were also even in the Ogunlana family as Lekan kept goal for Hampstead whilst Ore was Surbiton's goalkeeper.
Missing their GB internationals on their return from the Southern Hemisphere, both teams mainly cancelled each other out whilst battling against the elements.
David Goodfield was an early threat for Surbiton with Kwan Browne always seeming to be in the right place in the Hampstead defence when the visitors attacked.
Hampstead had the chance to break the deadlock at the end of the first half but failed to convert their first penalty corner to leave the scoreline goalless at the half time interval.
Although there were occasional strong gusts of wind, the main weather threat came from heavy and prolonged rain which sent the spectators scurrying for shelter when the half time whistle blew.
Surbiton failed to force a single penalty corner in the match, but took the lead in the 44th minute when a sweeping attacking move saw Ben Boon set up a scoring chance for Scott Evans which was taken with aplomb.
The visitors' relief at having scored was tempered four minutes later when Josh Kelly equalised for Hampstead to reward the loyal home fans who had braved the unpleasant weather.
Hampstead forced a second penalty corner in the 61st minute but Ore Ogunlana saved well to keep the score level.
Lekan Ogunlana and Jonny Gooch combined to repel a Surbiton attack with five minutes to play.
Surbiton nearly snatched the win in the dying seconds when another Boon attack saw the ball find its way to Rob Farrington who agonisingly slipped the ball past the right post in a final attempt to maintain Surbiton's maximum record.
With Old Georgians' home game with Beeston postponed due to travel difficulties for the Nottingham team, the University of Exeter moved back off the bottom with a 3-2 home win over relegation rivals, Reading and complete the league double over the Berkshire club.
Holcombe beat Brooklands Manchester University 3-1 in the other Premier Division clash with East Grinstead men otherwise occupied with European indoor hockey in Turkey.
Next weekend, Surbiton have a doubleheader, at home to local rivals Old Georgians on Saturday (22 Feb) at 4 pm in a clash which hopefully will see Sam Ward make his return to a hockey pitch and at East Grinstead on Sunday (23 Feb) push back 2.30 pm.