Strugglers Canterbury and Loughborough face off

Canterbury's Tom Bean. Credit Mark Clews 450


Both without a point so far, Canterbury and Loughborough Students face what could be a crucial match in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Bottom of the table Loughborough have scored the fewest goals in the league so far at just eight, while Canterbury have conceded the most having leaked 32 goals in seven games so far.

“It’s a must-win game for us,” said Canterbury Manager Gary Wyver. “We need to keep up with Brooklands and Reading above us.

“It’s a new era at the club with so many players leaving last season. We’re a very young squad and several have come through the age groups here, but they are learning quickly and they’re playing well.

“We’ve just been unlucky, but at this level you can’t afford to have little lapses in concentration as you will be punished.

“The target for us at the start of the season was to avoid being in the relegation play-offs for a third season in a row, and that’s still the aim – but a mid-table finish is still within reach for us.”

At the other end of the table, leaders Holcombe go to Brooklands MU as they target a seventh league win, while second-placed Beeston travel to Surbiton to face a side who have lost just on league match so far.

Wimbledon moved up to third on the back of last weekend’s win at Reading, and they could climb further this weekend as they host fourth-placed East Grinstead, who they leap-frogged last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Reading will be looking to get back to winning ways as they go to Hampstead and Westminster.

Unbeaten Richmond play host to second-placed Sevenoaks in the Men’s Conference East on Saturday, and will climb above them if they win.

And if leaders Southgate slip up at home against Teddington, Richmond could also go top of the table.

In the Men’s Conference North, bottom of the table Leek host second-bottom Oxton, with both sides desperate for points to move away from the relegation zone.

And at the other end of the table, leaders the University of Durham are targeting an eighth-straight win as they host Sheffield Hallam.

The top two are preparing for battle in the Men’s Conference West, with unbeaten leaders Cardiff and Met at home against second—placed University of Exeter. The winners will go top.

Meanwhile, third-placed Team Bath Buccaneers go to Isca as they bid to keep up with the top two.

* The above photograph shows Canterbury’s Tom Bean in action against Hampstead and Westminster. Credit: Mark Clews.

FIXTURES – Saturday, November 12

Men’s Premier Division
Wimbledon v East Grinstead 12:00
Hampstead and Westminster v Reading 13:30
Brooklands MU v Holcombe 13:30
Surbiton v Beeston 14:00
Canterbury v Loughborough Students 18:00

Men’s Conference East
West Herts v Indian Gymkhana 13:30
Southgate v Teddington 15:30
Oxted v Cambridge City 17:00
Wapping v Brighton and Hove 17:30
Richmond v Sevenoaks 18:00

Men’s Conference North
University of Durham v Sheffield Hallam 12:00
Deeside Ramblers v Preston 12:00
Doncaster v Olton and West Warwicks 14:00
Leek v Oxton 14:00
Cannock v Bowdon 18:00

Men’s Conference West
Isca v Team Bath Buccaneers 12:00
Chichester v University of Birmingham 12:15
Cardiff and Met v University of Exeter 12:30
University of Bristol v Fareham 13:00
Old Georgians v Cheltenham 14:30