Surbiton HC News
L1 v CHELMSFORD NOW AT 2PM ON SUNDAY
Chelmsford are sixth, and have recovered after losing their first three league matches this season. The third defeat was at home to Surbiton on 2 October, when Chloe Strong’s 25th minute penalty corner conversion was enough to give the visitors the points.
Chelmsford lifted themselves off the bottom of the table the following weekend with a 2-1 home win over Horsham; and have since beaten Maidstone (2-0), and Sevenoaks (4-2) also both at home. A 3-3 draw at Ipswich; and a 2-2 home draw with Old Loughtonians now leaves them five points above the relegation playoff place.
The home win over Sevenoaks avenged a 7-2 defeat in Kent, and other than the point earned at Ipswich, Chelmsford have come back empty from their other two away games, going down narrowly, 2-1 at St. Albans, and 3-1 at Oxford Hawks.
Loren Sherer is their top scorer with seven out of their eighteen league goals; Julia Butterworth has scored three goals, with both Kate Taylor and Collette Ager each finding the target twice.
Meanwhile, Surbiton will hope to build on the momentum generated from four mid-season friendlies which they won (twice, home and away against Wimbledon; and at Barnes Hounslow Ealing and Buckingham).
Surbiton will be aiming to carry at least a two point lead over St. Albans into next weekend’s top of the table clash in Hertfordshire. Everybody in the team has played their part this season, with the defence, which has only conceded five goals in the first ten matches; supporting the attack, which has breached the opposing defences thirty times. Chloe Strong, not only Surbiton’s leading goalscorer with nine goals, but also the leader in the Conference East, has proved a severe threat from penalty corner routines with eight of her nine goals coming via a set piece; but she has been well supported by Abi Robinson (6 goals) and Vicky Bryant and Becky Merchant (5 goals each).
Elsewhere, the remaining four fixtures are all incredibly evenly matched as second placed St. Albans visit third placed Sevenoaks; fourth placed Ipswich travel to fifth placed Oxford Hawks; seventh placed Harleston Magpies host eighth placed Maidstone; with basement side Horsham visiting ninth placed Old Loughtonians, knowing that they need a win if they are going to lift themselves off the bottom of the table in the first stage of trying to avoid relegation.