Men’s Hockey League Premier Division
Brooklands Manchester University 2 Surbiton 7
Surbiton kept up the pressure on the top two, Holcombe and Hampstead & Westminster, running out 7-2 winners against Brooklands Manchester University in wet conditions in Sale thanks to clinical finishing which saw them nearly equal their biggest margin of victory in the fixture away from home.
Surbiton had won 7-1 in October 2014, but Richard Slater’s consolation goal two minutes from time ensured that the current Brooklands squad fared slightly better.
The two previous league meetings at Brooklands had ended in thrilling 3-3 draws, but Surbiton were well on top in this encounter, Brooklands having earned their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at Sevenoaks the week before.
Once again, Surbiton made an early breakthrough, Brooklands falling behind in the fourth minute to an Alan Forsyth finish. Alex Humphries had a blocked shot and Peter Flanagan’s attack was defended by Surbiton’s Lewis Prosser, but Surbiton had two chances to extend their lead, Ben Boon forced wide by Brooklands’ goalkeeper Robert Turner when in a one on one situation and Sam Spencer going even closer with a shot rebounding off the right post.
Surbiton goalkeeper, Mark Haycroft made an excellent double save in the 21st minute to prevent a Brooklands equaliser.
The visitors’ second goal came in the 24th minute when James Royce scored for the third match in succession to double Surbiton’s lead. To their credit, Brooklands fought back five minutes later when Dan Vincent converted a penalty corner to reduce the arrears and give the home supporters reason for hope.
In added on time at the end of the first half, Surbiton applied a killer blow, Forsyth getting the final touch to Royce’s penalty corner shot to leave Brooklands trailing 3-1 at the interval. Within seconds of the restart, Forsyth completed his hat-trick, taking full advantage of a Brooklands turnover.
Royce helped himself to a second goal in the 42nd minute, then it was Ben Boon’s turn to score a brace, rotating before finding the backboard in the 53rd minute and then with four minutes to play, adding Surbiton’s seventh goal from the right of the circle.
Aidan Khares forced a second half save from Haycroft and Peter Flanagan was a threat from Brooklands’ penalty corners, but the result was never in doubt after half time and on this form, Surbiton will be wondering how they only managed to draw against the University of Exeter a fortnight previously.
Holcombe won 2-0 at Wimbledon and Hampstead won 2-0 at Sevenoaks to stay two points clear of Surbiton, Holcombe having a massive ten goal superior goal difference over Hampstead.
Brooklands Manchester University:
Scorers: Dan Vincent 29-PC, Richard Slater 68-F
Squad: Keenan Horne, Dan Vincent, Thomas Lush, Stefan Ray-Hills, David Flanagan, Richard Slater, Alex Humphries, Peter Flanagan (Capt.), Dan Campbell, Aidan Khares, Robert Turner (GK).
Subs: Andrew Jackson (4 mins), Sam Perrin (8), Henry Pymm (8), Craig Getty (12), Leo Watton (12).
Card: Green: Andrew Jackson (46 mins).
Scorers: Alan Forsyth 4-F, 35-PC, 36-F; James Royce 24-F, 42-F; Ben Boon 53-F, 66-F.
Squad: Tim Atkins, Lewis Prosser, Tom Sorsby, Ben Boon, Jonathan Gall (Capt.), James Royce, Alan Forsyth, Sam Spencer, Nick Parkes, Mark Haycroft (GK); Rory Calnan.
Subs: William Marshall (7 mins), Harry Gough (7), Conor Williamson (7), Scott Evans (8)
Cards: Green: Alan Forsyth (20 mins), William Marshall (43)
Match Official: Christine O’Donovan
Umpires: Lee Barron and Dave Dowdall