L1 Win 3-0 At Swansea
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies moved up to third behind Hampstead & Westminster and East Grinstead thanks to a 3-0 win at Swansea on Saturday afternoon.
Surbiton took advantage of Wimbledon's 1-1 home draw with the University of Birmingham to move up to third after Hampstead won 3-2 at Loughborough Students and East Grinstead won 2-0 at Holcombe.
The first ever meeting between the teams began in heavy rain under Welsh sunshine with Surbiton forcing a penalty corner after just 65 seconds. Although Steph Elliott was unsuccessful, Surbiton, wearing their all black second strip for the first time, made their attacking intent clear and a one-two passing move between Sarah Evans and Sophie Hamilton ended with Evans firing past the right post.
Swansea weren't discouraged with Jessica Lea attacking down the right wing and Jess Roe sending the ball over Surbiton's back-line.
Swansea also found it difficult to find a route through Surbiton's defence with Katrin Gierak and Lauren Dunn passing the ball across the back in association with Roe.
The rain eased after around ten minutes.
Surbiton's Lottie Ross and Maddie Long couldn't get past Swansea's Katie Mulroy and Eloise Stenner had a shot kicked away by home goalkeeper Ella Jackson as Surbiton wondered how they could break the deadlock.
The answer came in the 16th minute as Hamilton ran towards goal before confidently smashing the ball against the backboard to put Surbiton ahead.
Swansea's Rebecca Treharne and Danni Jordan showed perseverance and determination in retaining possession, but the hosts struggled to create chances, whilst Hamilton doubled Surbiton's lead three minutes before half time, scoring from close range after an excellent passing move.
When Holly Payne finished at the left post two minutes after half time, Surbiton seemed to be in control with a 3-0 lead, but Swansea had their chances from penalty corners, Beth Wood having a shot on goal and Dunn just failing to convert at the left post in the 38th and 42nd minutes as Swansea tried to maintain their record of scoring in every league match this season.
In response, Hamilton was denied a hat-trick by a Jackson save; Meg Dowthwaite also saw a shot saved and Evans struck the post as Surbiton tried to score a fourth goal.
Stenner was frustrated as she just failed to make contact with an Evans cross; Surbiton goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh kicked the ball to safety twice in succession and Surbiton's Freya Bull had a battle with Swansea's Gierak.
Surbiton couldn't take advantage of the power play created when Dunn saw yellow in the 57th minute
Roe had two further chances to convert a penalty corner after Surbiton's Maddie Long had been shown a yellow card for a foul on Swansea's Treharne, but twice had shots blocked and the game ended with Surbiton awarded two penalty corners in succession, the whistle blown after the second corner ended.
In the other game, Beeston beat Buckingham 4-0. Surbiton have a bye week next week before taking on Loughborough Students on 13 November in the first part of a first team doubleheader.