Surbiton hockey sides go into winter break on a high and in title contention

Both Surbiton’s men and women won their last outdoor fixture of 2014 in a national league double header at Reading on Sunday.

Both side’s won 2-0 – Matt Daly and Alan Forsyth scoring for the men and Rebecca Herbert and Jo Hunter notching for the women – to keep them in title contention in their divisions going into the 10-week winter break.

With 11 of the season’s 18 games gone, Surbiton are second in the men’s Premier Division, one point behind East Grinstead, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday, while the women lead the Premier Division by three points from Clifton.

They return to league action on February 7.

At Sonning Lane on Saturday, the men found themselves goalless at half time but broke through shortly after, with Daly and Forsyth scoring a penalty corner and a field goal to secure victory.

Head coach Todd Williams said: “We always look forward to games against Reading which are typically fast and attacking.

“Last year we were well beaten when we played our second round match at Sonning Lane.

“This time it was a tight game with both teams having a lot to play for.

“We weren’t that creative in the first half and on several promising attacks made things easy for them by looking for too much from just one pass.

“In the second half, I felt we used the ball more confidently and created more and better chances from which we scored two good goals.

“It was a good way to finish off the first part of the season for what is still a relatively new group.

“We’ll be using the break and the indoor season to continue to work on our creative play.

“Our defensive record shows that we have done reasonably well – with a couple of exceptions – and we need to complement that with developing the fluency and efficiency we want in our attack.”

Surbiton’s ladies beat the same opposition 2-0 despite being without five key players who are playing at the Women’s Champions Trophy in Argentina.

Herbert and Hunter both scored from penalty corners to leave assistant coach Mark Atherton happy.

“This result puts us in a strong position going into the Christmas break,” he said.

“Two enormously pleasing back-to-back performances away from home against quality opposition during a challenging period – with five internationals away on international duty, a number of injuries and conflicting schools tournaments – have been testament to the strength in depth of our broader squad.

“It is a very happy camp right now and once again a huge squad effort.

“We are exactly where we hoped to be at this stage in the season and are looking forward to getting back on the field in 2015, with European hockey on the agenda for the first time and feel confident going to every game.”


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