Comeback kings Surbiton take men's title

Alan Forsyth scores in shootout League Finals 2017

Wimbledon 3 (1)
Phil Ball, 9 (FG)
Henry Weir, 34 (PC)
Simon Mantell, 50 (FG)

Surbiton 3 (0)
Alan Forsyth, 52 (PC)
Gareth Furlong, 56, 59 (PC, PC)

Surbiton win 3-2 in the shoot-out.

Surbiton pulled off a remarkable comeback against Wimbledon to be crowned champions of the Men’s Hockey League.  Wimbledon had taken a 3-0 lead and seemingly put the game out of sight but three goals in the final eight minutes from Surbiton sent the game to shoot-out. In a dramatic finale, Mark Pearn’s side netted three times to clinch a 3-2 victory.  

Surbiton had the better of the opening exchanges with David Goodfield flashing a shot wide of the post and Alan Forsyth being denied by the glove of James Bailey. They were soon left ruing their missed opportunities when Wimbledon took the lead in the ninth minute. Phil Roper picked out Phil Ball with a fantastic reverse stick cross, for the striker to turn home first time.
  
Wimbledon came closest to doubling their lead in the second half when Ian Sloan dragged his shot wide of Harry Gibon’s left post. The well worked penalty corner routine resulted in the ball being slipped to the number eight but he couldn’t direct his effort on target. Surbiton almost equalised from their own penalty corner on the stroke of half time but Bailey and the Wimbledon backline defended bravely to maintain their 1-0 lead at the break.

Wimbledon charged out the blocks at the start of the second half, with Simon Mantell’s powerful shot stinging the gloves of Gibson. When Luke Noblett was shown a green card in the 33rd minute, Wimbledon were able to capitalise on their one man advantage. The penalty corner strike was charged down by Brendan Creed but the rebound fell kindly to Mikey Hoare at the top of the circle. He smashed in a shot, for England and Great Britain teammate Henry Weir to get the faintest of touches to evade Gibson. At the other end, a goal line clearance from Wimbledon’s defence prevented Surbiton from halving the deficit heading into the final quarter.

Mantell forced the Surbiton defence into making a mistake in the 50th minute to give his side a 3-0 lead. His persistent pressure resulted in the defence gifting the ball to Johnny Kinder and in a two on one situation, Kinder unselfishly slipped the ball back to Mantell for the forward to turn and finish.

However,  Surbiton didn’t give up and three goals in seven minutes turned the game on its head. Forsyth pulled a goal back straight from the restart to give his side a glimmer of hope, sending a powerful reverse strike past Bailey. With four minutes left on the clock Surbiton earned themselves a further two penalty corners and up stepped Gareth Furlong. The number fourteen’s two identical strikes from the top of the circle crashed past Bailey into the goal, sending the game to a shoot-out.
 
Wimbledon were up first and Gibson denied both Ian Sloan and Steven Ebbers. Bailey saved from Lewis Prosser but couldn’t stop Forsyth from calmly finishing on his reverse. With Phil Roper then scoring and Bailey keeping out David Goodfield, the score was tied at 1-1 after three penalties each. Mantell and Noblett both held their nerve but when Ball was unable to convert it was advantage Surbiton. David Beckett, the final penalty taker kept his cool to clinch a 3-2 victory for his side, sending the Surbiton fans wild.

Shoot-out detail

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wimbledon

X

X

O

O

X

2

Surbiton

X

O

X

O

O

3



England Hockey spoke to Player of the Match Gareth Furlong and winning captain Lewis Prosser.