Wimbledon face leaders Surbiton

Surbiton's Scott Evans (left) in action against Beeston, credit www.hockeyimages.co.uk - 450


IN-form Wimbledon make the short trip to leaders Surbiton in a crucial match in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Both sides have won four out of their last five matches and have each conceded just 14 goals this season and making them jointly the best defences in the division, but Surbiton boast the best attack with 32 goals.

Wimbledon have already beaten East Grinstead this season, and only narrowly lost by a single goal in a pre-season clash with Surbiton.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Surbiton captain Ben Tibble. “Wimbledon will be difficult opponents. We will need to play as well as we have been doing over the last few weeks to beat them, but we’re pretty confident going into the game.

“If we want to stay at the top of the table we have to strive to consistently produce performances of the highest standard. We will be looking at them in training this week, but we prepare largely the same for all our matches.”

Elsewhere, East Grinstead – who dropped to second in the table on goal difference despite beating Beeston last weekend, entertain bottom side Canterbury on Saturday evening.

In other Premier Division action, former leaders Beeston will want to keep pace with the top two teams with a win at Southgate.

Brooklands Manchester University – who secured a stunning 5-4 comeback win over Reading last weekend – will be aiming for their second league win of the season when they head to Hampstead and Westminster.

And Reading, who have won only two of their last five league matches, play host to Cannock in the other top-flight match. Both Hampstead and Reading need a win to stay in touch with the top four.

Currently second in the table, Cardiff and Met welcome third-placed Fareham in the NOW: Pensions Conference West on Saturday, bidding to keep pace with leaders Team Bath Buccaneers who host Barford Tigers.

The league committee have considered the issue of the Olton versus Trojans match that was abandoned in the 65th minute last Saturday due to a flooded pitch. The committee agreed that the game will not be replayed and the score at the time, 1-1, will be recorded as the result. Goals and yellow cards will stand.

The top two are preparing to meet on Saturday in the NOW: Pensions Conference North, with leaders Bowdon visiting Olton and West Warwicks. Sheffield Hallam moved up to third after beating Loughborough Students last weekend, and they could climb to second if they win their Yorkshire derby and Olton lose.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference East, runaway leaders Holcombe face Brighton and Hove, while Chichester Priory Park – who lost to Holcombe last weekend – aim to get back to winning ways against Oxted.

* Above file image of Surbiton's Scott Evans is by www.HockeyImages.co.uk

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 15 2014)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Hampstead & Westminster v Brooklands Manchester Univ 14:00
Southgate v Beeston 14:30
Reading v Cannock 16:30
Surbiton v Wimbledon 16:30
East Grinstead v Canterbury 18:00

NOW: Pensions Conference West
Cheltenham v Univ of Exeter 12:30
Univ of Birmingham v Whitchurch 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Barford Tigers 13:00
Guildford v Indian Gymkhana 14:00
Cardiff & Met v Fareham 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Sheffield Hallam v Wakefield 13:30
Olton & West Warwicks v Bowdon 13:30
Leek v Belper 14:00
Doncaster v Univ of Durham 14:00
Loughborough Students v Deeside Ramblers 14:00

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Chichester Priory Park v Oxted 13:30
Bromley & Beckenham v Richmond 14:00
West Herts v Teddington 14:00
Old Loughtonians v Cambridge City 16:30
Holcombe v Brighton and Hove 18:00