Canterbury Double Header featured match review

130413 surbiton canterbury Kwan Browne in action at the NOW Pensions men's finals weekend

Foster’s treble and further goals from Andrew Sutherland and Isaac O’Connor gave the home side a 5-0 lead before Matt Daly’s late penalty corner gave the hosts a consolation goal.

The first chance of the match fell to Surbiton. James Tindall had the ball on the left touchline and fired an excellent diagonal pass to Rob Moore inside the D. Moore had time and space but shot wide of the near post.

Canterbury hit back in the eighth minute to take the lead. Wei Adams burst out of defence, picking the ball up on the edge of his own D. He carried the ball into the Surbiton half and broke through a cynical foul on the half-way line, Umpire Nick Padget played an excellent advantage and Adams was able to find a pass into the D that was converted from close range by Liam Foster.

On eleven minutes, the home side doubled their lead. Captain Michael Farrer beat David Kettle with a powerful drag flick only to see it come back off the post. Andrew Sutherland reacted the quickest to stab home the rebound.

Surbiton were struggling to get into the game whilst Canterbury were braking forwards with real purpose. Kwan Browne was dictating the play whilst Mickel Pierre’s pace and skills were giving the visitors’ defence plenty to think about.

Surbiton forced their first penalty corner on 15 minutes but Tindall’s aim was off and his flick went wide. Jonny Gall fed Alan Forsyth who had time and space in the D but he shot wide, too. Daly was off target with another penalty corner before Antoni Kindler was forced into two good saves, first from Michael Watt and then Daly again.

After the break Daly and Kindler resumed their battle with the Canadian goalkeeper getting across well to repel another penalty corner early on in the half.

Kettle made another excellent block as he was out bravely to smother a volley from O’Connor with his body before at the other end Kindler kept out a Daly penalty corner with a good low save to his right.

On 51 minutes, Canterbury grabbed a third. Foster picked up the ball at the top of the D with his back to goal. He turned the defender and fired an unstoppable reverse stick shot into the far corner, giving Kettle no chance.

It was 4-0 shortly after. A run round the baseline by Canterbury was not cleared properly and despite Sutherland and O’Connor seeming to get in each other’s way, the youngster kept his cool to slap home number four.

With a 4-0 lead the hosts started to defend deeper, inviting Surbiton to attack. Having absorbed the pressure they broke out of defence, Browne burst forward and fed Mickel Pierre. He slid the ball through to Foster who was clean through. Although his first touch wasn’t the best, he kept his cool and slotted home his third and Canterbury’s fifth.

There was still time for Daly to grab a late consolation, beating Kindler high to his right from a penalty, but Canterbury were not to be denied.

Surbiton Coach Todd Williams told England Hockey afterwards:

“We had a bad day at the office in the final third. It’s an area where we’re normally pretty good so it was surprising to see we struggled in that area. Normally we handle the ball really well and can create the chances but Canterbury defended very well and we weren’t able to quite put it together. We’ve struggled a little bit since we got back from Barcelona. There’s no excuse but when we needed a second effort today we didn’t seem to have it. Full credit to Canterbury, they took their chances today and were very good.”

Canterbury’s Captain Michael Farrer was delighted with his team’s efforts:

“We want to be aiming for the top four so it was pleasing to put together probably our best performance of the season against a good Surbiton side who are in the Euro Hockey League and who have one of the best defences in the country. It’s great to get five goals and put in an all-round team performance.” He added: “The league is starting to break into two leagues within the divison; we don’t want to be in the bottom part, we want to push for the top. Surbiton finished second last year and we’d like to be up there, too, winning today is a really positive result for us.”

Next week there is a break for the NOW: Pensions Men’s League whilst the Futures Cup takes place. There is, however one game as Surbiton aim to bounce back against Reading.

If you want to read the report on the women's teams' side of the double header, click here. For all of the results for the NOW: Pensions Men's and Investec Women's Hockey Leagues, why not visit our competitions pages?