Slough win helps Surbiton go top

Ellie Watton scores for Holcombe. Credit Peter Smith. - 480x320
Surbiton pulled out a three point lead at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 4-2 victory over Slough on Saturday afternoon.

The two sides were first and second before the start of play and that showed in a keenly contested first half, though it was the hosts who struck first with Emily Atkinson breaking the deadlock on 25 minutes.

Ashpal Kaur Bhogal hit back for Slough three minutes later, converting a penalty corner, but they were level for just two minutes, Hannah Martin restoring Surbiton’s lead at the break.

The hosts pulled away in the second half, Giselle Ansley scoring her fourth of the season and Jo Hunter converting a penalty corner to put the game out of reach.

Slough did pull one back late on through Georgina Bathurst, but it was Surbiton who are now clear at the top of the table, whilst Slough make up a clutch of six teams separated by just a single point.

Two of these sides, Clifton Robinsons and Holcombe, both lost ground at the top as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Ellie Watton (pictured) had put Holcombe on course for victory with the opener midway through the second half, but Zoe Leach’s penalty corner eight minutes from time rescued a draw for Clifton.

The University of Birmingham moved second in the table, leapfrogging opponents East Grinstead after a 1-0 home victory.

Katelyn Aitchinson struck the game’s only goal after 21 minutes as the hosts made it four games unbeaten.

Zoe Shipperley scored on the stroke of half time as Buckingham recorded a 1-0 victory at Bowdon, breaking a run of three consecutive draws.

Meanwhile, Leicester were the biggest winners of the day, running out 4-1 victors over struggling Canterbury.

Elizabeth Honarmand and Katie Long grabbed two goals apiece in the win, Sarah Kerly with a late consolation for the visitors who are yet to taste success this term.

Investec Conference East
Hampstead & Westminster and Sevenoaks both made it six wins from six games with away victories in the Investec Conference East.

Leaders Hampstead won 2-0 at Cambridge City, Annabel Driver and Joyce Esser on target to both move onto six goals for the campaign.

Sevenoaks recorded a 3-0 win at Bedford, Sophie Crosley, Kate Reynolds and captain Katy Warrington scoring for the visitors who also kept a sixth successive clean sheet.

Wimbledon also picked up an away win to remain just three points behind the leaders, running out 4-0 victors at Harleston Magpies with Laura Bevan and Libby Sherriff amongst the scorers.

Elsewhere, Southgate were back to winning ways with a 3-2 triumph at Chelmsford, whilst St Albans picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Barnes, Ellen Paterson rescuing a point for the visitors with five minutes to go.

Investec Conference North
It was six of the best for Beeston who stay top of the Investec Women’s Conference North after a 6-0 home win over Liverpool Sefton.

Rosy Stephens both opened and wrapped up the scoring for Beeston, with Lauren Burrell, Nina Apoola, Esme Burge and Fenella Scutt also on target as the hosts made it six wins from six.

Brooklands Poynton remain hot on their heels after an emphatic 9-1 victory over Wakefield. Annie Mills scored fourtimes whilst Izzy Wray hit a brace, all after Wakefield had taken a sixth minute lead.

After four straight wins to start the season, it is now back-to-back defeats for Sutton Coldfield who went down 2-1 at Ben Rhydding, Jo Ellis and Tanisha Janzen on target in the first half for the hosts.

Vicky Lomas scored the winner in the dying minutes as Timperley defeated Loughborough Students 2-1, meaning the Leicestershire side are still without a point this season, whilst Fylde’s game against University of Durham was goalless.

Investec Conference West
Second-placed Reading picked up a 1-0 victory at home to leaders Trojans in the Investec Conference, ending the visitors' 100% start to the season.

Emma Thomas converted a 27th minute penalty corner to score the game's only goal and cut the gap at the top of the table to a single point.

Stourport are just a point further back after a comfortable 6-1 win at Oxford Hawks, Lorna Mackenzie hitting a brace with Lora Symonds again on the scoresheet.

Sally Walton scored two and Lucy Smith one as Olton & West Warwicks won 3-2 at home to Swansea City, the hosts now unbeaten in four, whilst Gloucester City ran out 4-1 winners over Isca.

Mia Foster scored just after the restart as Cannock defeated strugglers Team Bath Buccaneers 1-0, it could have been worse for Bath if not for Kelz Bowden saving a first half penalty stroke.

* The above photo shows Ellie Watton scoring for Holcombe at Clifton Robinsons. Credit: Peter Smith.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Investec Women’s Hockey League are available here.