Men’s Hockey League Premier Division
Oxted 1 Surbiton 0
A week after taking part in a record breaking 10-6 loss at Old Georgians, Oxted were involved in a much more defensive encounter with leaders Surbiton but came out on top in a match which broke records in its own way.
On their last visit to Oxted School in the 2007-08 season, Surbiton had battled with a team two divisions lower before winning 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after normal time and golden goal extra time in the second round of the Men’s Cup.
In 2020-21, Surbiton were not to be so fortunate on a night beset by heavy rain and strong gusts of wind in front of Oxted’s supporters with visiting supporters not allowed to attend due to Covid-19 restrictions.
After a sixteen goalfest the previous week, it was perhaps inevitable that the half time score a week later would be 0-0. Both sides had had chances to break the deadlock with Oxted perhaps the most frustrated two minutes before the break, Jordan Turnbull and Fin Boothroyd both failed to beat Surbiton goalkeeper, Harry Gibson and Tim Guise-Brown was also denied from the hosts’ first penalty corner, Gibson the obstacle once again.
However it was Oxted’s second penalty corner in the 49th minute which was decisive, Guise-Brown drag-flicking the ball past Gibson for his seventh goal of the season and perhaps the most significant.
Oxted goalkeeper Fred Whitfield saved from Ben Boon and from James Royce’s penalty corner as Oxted’s supporters became more excited at the prospect of a famous victory.
When the final whistle blew, the home supporters were more concerned about getting out of the rain than immediately celebrating, but Oxted have taken another important step towards proving that they can compete in the top flight.
Surbiton were without seven international players due to the upcoming Pro League matches and fielded a fourteen player squad, giving debuts to youngsters Daniel Hunt and Tom Fox, but had chances to win on the night and still had enough quality players on the pitch – it was simply Oxted’s night.
The match ended a run of 108 regular season games since Surbiton had failed to score at East Grinstead back in October 2014 and was Surbiton’s last away defeat since March 2018 when they lost 5-4 at Hampstead & Westminster.
Scorer: Tim Guise-Brown 49-PC
Starters: Lewis Fraser, Sam Driver, Nick Giles, Tim Guise-Brown, Chris Porter, Ryan Kavanagh, Brenden Bissett (Capt.), Jamie Batten, Fred Whitfield (GK), Jordan Turnbull, Peter Friend.
Subs: Cam Heald (8 mins), Balraj Panesar (8), Oli Whiteley (9), Josh Birtles (9), Fin Boothroyd (13).
Cards: Green: Chris Porter (46 mins).
Starters: Rob Farrington, Ben Boon, Jonny Gall, Tim Nurse, Arjan Drayton-Chana, Jamie Golden, Jonty Griffiths, James Royce, Harry Gibson (Capt. & GK), Sam Spencer, Scott Evans.
Subs: David Bartram (5 mins), Daniel Hunt (14), Tom Fox (18+)
Cards: Green: Scott Evans (54 mins).
Match Official: Keith Dawson
Umpires: Sean Edwards and Martin Twist