Surbiton go top of the league with six goal blitz against defending champions Beeston

Surbiton shot to the top of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Premier Division with a thrilling 6-2 win over defending champions Beeston.

Star forward Matt Daly and women’s captain couldn’t hide their delight after emphatic home league wins over the Nottingham-based club.

Four goals from Rebecca Herbert helped the women to an emphatic 6-0 victory, while the men’s storming start to the season continued as they were 6-2 winners over last year’s champions in the double header at Sugden Road.

The men now top the table with a 100% record from three games, while the women, yet to concede a goal all season, lie second in the Investec Women’s Hockey League.

However, the men’s game had been in the balance until three late Surbiton goals put the result beyond doubt.

“We had a bit of a dodgy spell just after half time. They were on top of us for about ten minutes or so,” said Daly.

“Obviously beating last season’s champions will throw up a few eyebrows.”

The early exchanges had been all puff but no magic, until Beeston broke the deadlock on 18 minutes through Richard Lawrence.

Daly flashed in an equaliser almost immediately, and Surbiton took the lead after 26 minutes as Robert Schilling swept home after a quick counter-attack.

The second half started with Beeston well on top, and David Ames equalised on 44 minutes. The momentum remained against Surbiton, with only a string of fine saves from David Kettle keeping the scores level.

But then Rob Moore found himself free for a tap-in after 57 minutes, and as Beeston pushed for another equaliser, two Alan Forsyth strikes and another from Daly – his fifth of the season – wrapped up the points for the Londoners.

In the women’s game, meanwhile, four Herbert goals and two from Sarah Page put Beeston to the sword.

“We just wanted to apply the principles that we’ve been working on all season – fast, attacking hockey – and to press them quite high so we could win the ball,” said captain Haycroft.

“We’ve been working a lot in the circle and the 25 to try and make goal-scoring opportunities, so I think we definitely did that, but there’s still room for improvement.”

Haycroft’s team opened the scoring in the fifth minute, Herbert deftly touching a high ball round the Beeston keeper, and after deflecting in Giselle Ansley’s penalty corner effort midway through the half, the forward completed her hat-trick after a weaving run on the half hour.

Page claimed the fourth just before half time, before Herbert again touched in an Ansley drive in the second half and Page drilled home late on to complete the rout.

And on Sunday, the men made it three out of three with a crushing 18-0 win over Marlow in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Cup.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon were 3-2 winners over Southgate in the men’s Premier Division.

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