Men’s Hockey League
Brooklands Manchester University 3 Surbiton 3
Surbiton were held to a 3-3 draw for the second season running at Brooklands Manchester University and with Beeston winning 5-0 at Canterbury, Surbiton trail the East Midlands club on goal difference at the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.
Brooklands stunned the reigning champions by taking the lead after just 80 seconds, Sam Perrin finishing off a fast and dynamic attacking move. Brooklands goalkeeper, Chris Scott had an excellent game, denying Surbiton’s Arjan Drayton Chana in the 13th minute and also making important saves to help prevent Surbiton from converting any of their nine penalty corners.
David Goodfield came close to equalising in the 18th minute, just shooting past the left post, whilst Scott saved well from Gareth Furlong and Luke Taylor from Surbiton’s first two penalty corners.
Alan Forsyth levelled seven minutes before half time, a blistering shot ending up in the netting just above the backboard. Scott’s penalty corner saving heroics continued late in the first half, with a double save from Furlong and Drayton Chana from Surbiton’s third penalty corner award. The teams went into the half time break level at 1-1.
Early in the second half, with the floodlights switched on, Surbiton took the game to Brooklands, with Taylor’s penalty corner shots being deflected and blocked. Forsyth struck again from open play in the 43rd minute, smashing the ball into the goal to give Surbiton the lead for the first time in the match at 2-1.
Brooklands, needing points to extend the gap between themselves and Sevenoaks and Canterbury, the bottom two teams, were determined to get something out of the game and within five minutes of falling behind, found themselves back on level terms thanks to Peter Cornell, who wheeled away in celebration.
Scott and Brooklands’ penalty corner defenders continued to prevent Surbiton converting penalty corners, whether straight drag-flicks or manoeuvred routines, the home supporters delighted by their team’s defensive work.
With two minutes remaining, Brooklands were awarded their second penalty corner of the match. The first, in the fifth minute, had seen the ball rebound off the left post, but the second saw Brooklands take the lead, Aidan Khares on track to guide the hosts towards only their third league win of the season with a precious 3-2 lead.
A minute later, Surbiton salvaged a point, Goodfield’s shot touched in by Drayton Chana to earn a 3-3 draw in an entertaining and enjoyable game.
Beeston and Surbiton are level on 22 points, with Beeston having a six better goal difference at the halfway point of the regular season. Surbiton complete their 2017 league fixtures with a London derby at home to local rivals Wimbledon on 25 November (push back 6 pm). Surbiton beat Wimbledon for the first time in the top flight, 2-1 when the teams met at King’s College School. Since then, Wimbledon have moved up the table and should be in good form for the return fixture.