L1 Maintain Five Point Lead With 3-1 Win At Beeston
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies maintained their five point lead at the top of the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division but had to come from behind to win 3-1 at Beeston on Saturday afternoon.
Surbiton also maintained their one hundred per cent record at Nottingham Hockey Centre against Beeston winning their sixth match at the venue, recording their third 3-1 victory in the last four visits.
Morning rain in the East Midlands had cleared by push back time with Beeston, having battled to a goalless draw at home to Wimbledon the week before, looking for an early goal in the second minute, Sophie Robinson playing a dangerous ball into the circle from the left.
Surbiton were frustrated defensively with Darcy Bourne tackled by Maddie Pendle and Lucy Millington working hard in defence to stop an Izzy Petter attack as the visitors dominated possession but were prevented from doing anything with it.
Beeston also defended well from Surbiton's penalty corners, Giselle Ansley having shots blocked from her side's first two awards.
Having been the better team in the first half, Surbiton fell behind in the 29th minute as Beeston capitalised on their first penalty corner award, Hannah Grieve converting as Surbiton conceded their fourth goal of the season, all away from home.
(N.B. The goal was originally credited to Paige Gillott, but Beeston have confirmed that Hannah Grieve had the last offensive touch).
Beeston's lead lasted six minutes, Ansley equalising in the 35th minute from Surbiton's fifth penalty corner to enable the teams to go in level at half time with all to play for in the second half.
Ansley was frustrated again in the 43rd minute as Beeston goalkeeper Steph Tirrell made a save from Surbiton's sixth penalty corner, but there was nothing Tirrell could do in added time at the end of the third quarter when Petter converted Surbiton's seventh penalty corner unmarked at the left post to put Surbiton ahead for the first time in the match.
Amy Costello sealed the win in the 64th minute from Surbiton's ninth penalty corner with a hard hit shot rebounding off the backboard before the Beeston defence could react.
Wimbledon kept up the pressure on Surbiton with a 3-0 win at Holcombe and third placed East Grinstead beat the University of Nottingham 5-1 in West Sussex.
Hampstead & Westminster moved up to fourth with a 3-0 win at Reading with Clifton Robinsons closing to a point behind Beeston in sixth with a 3-0 home win over Buckingham.
Honours were even at the University of Birmingham where they drew 1-1 with Loughborough Students to move ahead of ninth placed University of Nottingham on goal difference.
Reading stay tenth, two points ahead of Holcombe, who remain two points clear of Buckingham at the bottom of the table.
Surbiton face the University of Birmingham in their penultimate game of 2022 in the first match of a home men's/ women's double header next Saturday (26 November). The game starts at 4 pm and is followed by the men's important game against Old Georgians at 6 pm.
The match can be watched via the Bee TV Channel on You Tube here