Surbiton 7-0 East Grinstead
Coach Todd Williams refused to get too carried away after Surbiton’s men’s first XI thrashed last season’s play-off finalists East Grinstead.
A hat-trick from Alan Forsyth, two from Matt Daly, and a goal each for David Beckett and new signing Andy Hayward sent Surbiton marching to the top of the table after one game.
It would have been more but for the brilliance of Paddy Smith in the East Grinstead goal, which meant Surbiton only broke the deadlock a minute before half time, against the team that beat them to top spot during the regular season.
“We played two very good halves of hockey and that is very pleasing,” said Williams.
“It was the way we got the result and how we put together the details we have been working on in training that I am pleased about.
“The result was not important though. We want to play better than we did last year.
“Finishing second is not good enough. First place gets Europe and second achieves absolutely nothing.
“We have to get better, especially if we make the play-offs to qualify for Europe.”
— David Beckett (@davebecks14) September 13, 2015
Surbiton dominated the first half and were rewarded when Daly opened the scoring with a drag flick that found the bottom right-hand corner.
Less than 30 seconds into the second period, Forsyth found space to lift the ball past a despairing Smith to stretch the home side’s lead.
Soon after, Daly’s reverse shot made it 3-0 before Forsyth netted a second from a smart first-time shot on the turn.
Then Hayward managed to open his Surbiton goal account with a drag flick that rocketed into the top right corner.
Beckett added a sixth with a composed finish, which flew past Smith and Forsyth finished off proceedings to complete his hat trick.
Surbiton Ladies, who were unbeaten last campaign, began their defence of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division title with a 1-1 home draw against newly-promoted East Grinstead on Saturday.
Debutant Takara Haines put the visiting side ahead with three minutes remaining in the first half.
However, Chloe Palmer found an equalising goal with 10 minutes remaining from a penalty corner.
The ladies travel to Bowdon Highdon next Saturday, while the men face Brooklands MU on Sunday.
Feature image of Matt Daly, courtesy of Tim Reder, with thanks