Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
Beeston 1 Surbiton 3
Surbiton increased their lead at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division to five points over second placed Buckingham following their 3-1 win over Beeston at Nottingham Hockey Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Buckingham became Surbiton’s nearest challengers after Holcombe lost their second successive match 2-1 at Slough and East Grinstead were denied the chance to go second in spite of a 1-0 home win over Clifton Robinsons, having had three points deducted due to an ineligible player issue.
In chilly conditions, all four goals came in an action packed first nineteen minutes of play to warm up the hardy spectators in the East Midlands. Jenna Woolven, only re-registered to play for Surbiton on 20 October, made a lightning comeback after coming on as an eighth minute substitute.
In the tenth minute, Woolven deflected Emily Defroand’s shot past Nicki Cochrane in the Beeston goal and three minutes later, showed composure in front of goal to beat Cochrane for a second time to double the visitors’ lead.
Beeston, back in the top flight after spending three seasons in the Conference North, have made a good start to the season and came into the match on the back of an impressive 2-1 win at Buckingham the week before. In the 16th minute they fought their way back into the match, Sophie Robinson attacking down the right before crossing for Lauren Burrell to poke the ball past Surbiton goalkeeper, Grace O’Hanlon as the reigning champions conceded only their second goal of the 2018-19 campaign.
Surbiton responded within three minutes, Olivia Chilton restoring the visitors’ two goal advantage, putting away a rebound. Although there was no further scoring, there was no shortage of goalmouth action both from open play and penalty corners, with Surbiton trying various combinations of set pieces and Beeston having the chance to score a second goal from a penalty corner at the end of the match only for Surbiton to successfully clear.
Beeston worked hard in defence having gone 3-1 down relatively early in the match with Kathryn Lane, Bridget Kiddle, Issy Davison and Lottie Ross all preventing Surbiton from extending their advantage.
There were clear signs that Beeston have the potential to establish themselves in the top flight and if they can build on their first season back, they can join their men’s first team as a contender in the Premier Division.
Surbiton face a top of the table clash next Saturday when they host Buckingham at Sugden Road (push back 4 pm). Buckingham won 4-0 at Canterbury with the Kent club dropping to ninth place after Slough’s victory over Holcombe lifted them up to seventh. Bowdon Hightown stayed at the bottom after drawing 2-2 at home to the University of Birmingham.
Scorer: Lauren Burrell 16-F
Squad: Nicki Cochrane (GK & Capt.); Caroline Hanks, Kathryn Lane, Lauren Burrell, Sophie Robinson, Rebekah Walker, Bridget Kiddle, Sophie McDowell, Eloise Stenner, Issy Davison, Lottie Ross.
Subs: Alice Huddlestone (3 mins), Rosy Stephens (3), Caroline Hulme (6), Serena Barr (6), Jess Roe (9)
Squad: Grace O’Hanlon (GK); Giselle Ansley, Sarah Evans (Capt.), Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Erica Sanders, Susie Catlin, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins.
Subs: Olivia Chilton (6 mins), Jenna Woolven (8), Phoebe Willars (9), Ella Burnley (13).
Cards: Green: Robyn Collins (45 mins). Yellow: Alice Sharp (70 mins).
Match Official: Jo Barnes
Umpires: Gill Lord and Rebecca Woodcock