Wimbledon ready for Surbiton battle

Surbiton's Chris Grassick. Credit Tim Reder - 450

Last season’s champions Wimbledon are preparing to face Surbiton in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday evening in what could prove to be a crucial test for both teams.

Wimbledon lost at home last weekend against Reading who leap-frogged them on the back of that result, but Surbiton also lost on the road at Holcombe, so both teams will be aiming to get back to winning ways.

“Our performance was good last weekend, but the result went against us,” said Wimbledon’s Director of Hockey Ben Marsden. “We created a lot of chances and had, I think, nine short corners, but just couldn’t convert.

“But in terms of our season it was a little dip in what has so far been a successful season for us.

“Surbiton had a very good unbeaten run, but they hadn’t come up against the stronger teams like Holcombe or ourselves. Holcombe have so far been the strongest team we have played this season.

“We will be hoping to play a very competitive game. We haven’t lost yet to Surbiton in the Premier Division, and we don’t intend to do so now.”

In other top flight action, Holcombe could go top if they beat visitors Hampstead and Westminster and Surbiton lose, while Reading go to Cannock on Saturday evening.

Brooklands Manchester University battled to a dramatic 3-3 draw with Cannock last weekend, and they will be aiming to take the same fighting spirit to East Grinstead. Finally, Beeston host Canterbury in a clash of the bottom two clubs.

In the Men’s Conference West, leaders Cardiff and Met face third-placed Cheltenham who lost to and were overtaken by the University of Birmingham last weekend.

Loughborough Students will want to continued their good run in the Conference North when they entertain Wakefield on Saturday, while the University of Durham – who beat Wakefield last weekend – are at home against Sheffield Hallam.

And in the Conference East table-topping Richmond are preparing to take on third-placed Sevenoaks on Saturday, with second-placed Cambridge City going to Southgate.

* The above photograph shows Surbiton’s Chris Grassick. Credit Tim Reder.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 14, 2015):

Men’s Premier Division
Beeston v Canterbury 14:00
Holcombe v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00
East Grinstead v Brooklands Manchester University 15:00
Surbiton v Wimbledon 18:00
Cannock v Reading 18:00

Men’s Conference North
Bowdon v Olton and West Warwicks 11:45
University of Durham v Sheffield Hallam 12:00
Lichfield v Preston 13:30
Loughborough Students v Wakefield 14:30

Men’s Conference East
West Herts v Brighton and Hove 13:30
Southgate v Cambridge City 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Bromley and Beckenham 14:00
Oxted v Teddington 17:00
Richmond v Sevenoaks 18:00

Men’s Conference West
University of Birmingham v Indian Gymkhana 12:30
Isca v Team Bath Buccaneers 12:30
Chichester Priory Park v University of Exeter 13:30
Fareham v Guildford 17:30
Cardiff and Met v Cheltenham 18:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, November 15, 2015):

Men’s Conference North
Doncaster v Deeside Ramblers 14:00