M1 Win 4-0 At The University of Exeter
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men maintained their one point lead over both Old Georgians and Wimbledon at the top of the Men's Hockey League Premier Division with a 4-0 win over the University of Exeter in Devon.
Old Georgians and Wimbledon, who both have a game in hand over Surbiton due to their participation in the Euro Hockey League earlier in the season, kept up the pressure with Old Georgians winning 6-2 at Oxted and Wimbledon also winning away, 1-0 at Reading.
Surbiton made a fast start, Luke Taylor converting a retaken penalty corner in the second minute to quickly put Exeter on the back foot. Exeter were not discouraged in a competitive first quarter which saw Surbiton carry their one goal advantage into the second period.
Surbiton were to gradually pull away in a match in which several cards were shown, Tom Sorsby receiving a green card on the quarter hour mark.
Five minutes later, Sorsby's reverse stick shot following a run towards the Exeter goal doubled Surbiton's lead. Nick Park received a green card, but Exeter were briefly down to nine players as Seb Ansley and Jonathan Hawley both saw green in the second quarter. Nevertheless, Exeter tested James Mazarelo in the Surbiton goal and the visitors' ability to defend penalty corners before Surbiton turned round with a 2-0 half time lead.
The card situation started to become more serious when David Goodfield received a yellow card early in the third quarter, but Surbiton dealt with the situation and added a third goal in the 43rd minute, Stuart Rushmere opening his goal account for the Sugden Road club from open play.
James Gall made it 4-0 from open play with just ten minutes remaining after an Exeter defender slipped in the circle and although Ben Park received a late yellow card, Surbiton completed a comfortable victory against a spirited students team.
Holcombe stayed fourth after a 6-3 home win over the University of Nottingham, a point ahead of Hampstead & Westminster who thrashed Brooklands Manchester University 7-1.
Beeston and East Grinstead moved ahead of the University of Nottingham on goal difference with all three teams on four points, three ahead of bottom club, Brooklands after a 1-1 draw in Nottingham.
Reading, winners of two of their first five games on their return to the top flight, are Surbiton's next opposition in the second game of a women's/ men's double header at Sugden Road next Saturday (29 October). Surbiton Ladies face Reading Ladies at 4 pm with the men's match following on at 6 pm.