Men’s Hockey League Premier Division
Surbiton 8 Sevenoaks 1
Surbiton clinched their first ever top place finish in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division in style, thrashing relegated Sevenoaks 8-1 on a sunny afternoon at Sugden Road.
Surbiton had finished as runners-up on seven occasions, just missing out in 2014-15 when East Grinstead pipped them on a four better goal difference after both teams finished on 44 points and last season Wimbledon finished top by a single point.
However the 2018-19 season saw history made after the previous week’s defining victory at Hampstead & Westminster all but settled the matter.
Sevenoaks’ relegation was also confirmed the week before after a 6-4 goal fest defeat at Brooklands but this goal fest was biased towards Surbiton, beginning in the the tenth minute when Arjan Drayton Chana scored from the left of the circle.
Five minutes later, the ball was pulled back for Alan Forsyth to double Surbiton’s lead, but in spite of several near misses from Ben Boon, Drayton Chana and William Marshall, Sevenoaks only trailed 2-0 at half time.
The floodgates opened in the 50th minute, Marshall’s emphatic finish deservedly celebrated with two arms in the air. Two minutes later, it was Tom Sorsby’s turn to celebrate, running away from goal after scoring Surbiton’s fourth goal of the match.
Sevenoaks’ defence was ripped to shreds when Surbiton scored twice in as many minutes, Sam Spencer adding to their misery in the 55th minute and Marshall having cause to celebrate for a second time with his second open play goal of the match.
Forsyth was on target again with twelve minutes to play with a shot into the netting just above the backboard to score Surbiton’s seventh, but although Andrew Ross scored Sevenoaks’ consolation goal to Taylor Seager-Green’s right from the visitors’ second penalty corner, Forsyth completed his hat-trick two minutes from time, slotting a penalty stroke against the backboard to complete an 8-1 rout.
The scoreline was a repeat of Sevenoaks’ visit to Hampstead & Westminster exactly a month earlier and they complete their second season in the top flight with a home game against Beeston.
Surbiton; Hampstead & Westminster and Beeston are all playoff bound with the fourth place up for grabs. East Grinstead, Holcombe and Reading are all on 24 points with Wimbledon and Brooklands Manchester University two points behind.
East Grinstead are at home to a University of Exeter team preparing for the Promotion Tournament, Holcombe go to Reading; Hampstead head to Brooklands and Surbiton make the shorter trip to Wimbledon to take on a team which has won their last five games without conceding a goal.
Scorers: Arjan Drayton Chana 10-F, Alan Forsyth 15-F, 58-F, 68-PS; William Marshall 50-F, 56-F; Tom Sorsby 52-F, Sam Spencer 55-F
Squad: Lewis Prosser, Ben Boon, Jonathan Gall (Capt.), Zach Wallace, James Royce, Alan Forsyth, Hayden Beltz, Sam Spencer, Nicholas Parkes, James Gall, Taylor Seager-Green (GK).
Subs: Arjan Drayton Chana (4 mins), Tom Sorsby (6), Dave Beckett (6), Conor Williamson (7), William Marshall (9).
Cards: Green: Tom Sorsby (68 mins)
Scorer: Andrew Ross 65-PC
Squad: Richard Potton (GK); Andrew Ross, Brandon Gibbs, Nick Barker, Tim Warrington (Capt.), Ali Taylor, Chris Barker, Craig Morton, Gurmukh Bhamra, Andrew Oxburgh, Alex Thomson
Subs: Tom Graham (5 mins), Lewis Wilcher (5), George Lilley (10), Duncan Parnis (36)
Cards: Green: Andrew Oxburgh (50 mins)
Match Official: Richard Chere
Umpires: Daran Cass and Nick Padget