Investec Women’s Hockey League
Surbiton 1 Buckingham 2
Buckingham stunned Surbiton Ladies with two late penalty corner conversions to win 2-1 at Sugden Road and end Surbiton’s 32 game unbeaten run at home in the IWHL Premier Division.
Surbiton had last tasted defeat on home soil on 15 February 2014 when Leicester won 2-0 but although the reigning league champions were without five England internationals on duty in Auckland at the Hockey World League final tournament, the selected squad should have had enough quality to win the match.
Surbiton included Lizzie Gittens in their squad, although she spent her debut on the bench. Holly Payne made her home debut having impressed at East Grinstead the week before, but it was Buckingham who were even more impressive with their tactics to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.
Sarah Page had an early chance to score, her shot deflected over the bar in the third minute. Buckingham successfully restricted Surbiton’s scoring chances thanks to their tight defence with Frankie Scott, Rebecca van Berkel and Emily Rowlands all tackling well in the circle.
Beckie Middleton forced a fine save from Buckingham goalkeeper Ella Jackson two minutes before half time and shortly afterwards just mistimed a diving attempt to deflect a defensive pass across the circle into the goal.
Goalless at half time, Buckingham tried to take the attacking initiative at the start of the second half, but it was Surbiton who broke the deadlock, Page’s shot rebounding off the backboard to seemingly relieve the pressure on the Surbiton forwards.
However, Surbiton failed to add to their lead, and their third penalty corner award seven minutes from time proved to be the turning point in the game. The injection was mistrapped and although Payne recovered, the award was wasted.
A minute later, Buckingham gave Surbiton a lesson into how to convert a penalty corner, Kitty Higgins finishing off a well worked routine to bring the visitors level.
Surbiton’s Alice Sharp was in the sin-bin after seeing yellow, joined by Page two minutes later after seeing green.
In the final minute, Buckingham took full advantage of their third penalty corner award of the match, Lauren Thomas becoming the newly promoted club’s heroine, scoring the winning goal, the Buckingham players jumping for joy at the prospect of clinching a famous victory.
When the final whistle blew seconds later, Buckingham were joyous whilst Surbiton were in despair.
With the University of Birmingham beating Leicester 4-1, both Surbiton and Birmingham are locked together at the top of the IWHL Premier Division with both teams having identical records.
Buckingham are just one point behind the joint leaders, having consolidated their third place position.
Surbiton will need to regroup when they visit Bowdon Hightown on 18 November (push back 1.45 pm).
Investec Women’s Championships
Tier 1 – 1st Round
Surbiton 7 Wapping 1
Surbiton, the last winners of the Investec Women’s Cup, began their campaign of the newly restructured knockout competition with a comfortable 7-1 home win over Wapping, second in the East League Premier Division.
However the final score did not reflect on Wapping’s performance or their attitude as they played hockey in an excellent spirit and were not downhearted at any point, even when Surbiton pulled away in the second half.
Surbiton made the perfect start, scoring twice in the first six minutes to take early command of the first round tie. Jenna Woolven opened the scoring in the second minute, with Beckie Middleton, captaining the cup squad in Sarah Haycroft’s absence, doubling the lead four minutes later.
Leading 2-0 early, there were expectations that the floodgates might open, but Wapping settled down, goalkeeper Megan Pugh making several good saves throughout the match, particularly from Surbiton’s penalty corner routines.
Jordan Mulvaney and Lottie Colquhoun attacked the Surbiton defence and when Mulvaney scored with a lobbed shot four minutes before half time, it was no more than the visitors deserved for their efforts.
In the second half, Surbiton’s superiority became more apparent, Woolven scoring their third goal within three minutes of the restart. In the 46th minute, Olivia Chilton crossed from the right for Stephanie Addison to make the score 4-1, then two minutes later, Chilton dived to deflect the ball high into the goal netting from Darcy Bourne’s cross.
Surbiton’s youth policy came to the fore in the 59th minute when Emily Leeson attempted a shot, the ball finding its way to Ella Burnley to score Surbiton’s sixth goal of the match. With five minutes remaining, Izzy Petter scored from close range to complete the 7-1 win.
Wapping can now concentrate on trying to win promotion to the Investec Women’s Hockey League. Having won their first six games, a 4-3 home defeat against City of Peterborough and a 3-1 loss at Ipswich has seen them drop to second, a point behind Ipswich.
The next round of the cup, the Last 32 is scheduled for 3 December.