Canterbury show spirit in a ding-dong
FOUR times they led and four times they were pegged back as Canterbury – fighting for their Premier Division lives – produced a battling performance to grab an unexpected point against highfliers Surbiton.
Whether it will make a significant difference to the maths at the end of the season may be a moot point as Canterbury are still five points behind Brooklands and complete safety.
However, in terms of confidence, it bodes well for the battles ahead, which start with another mighty contest against Hampstead and Westminster this weekend.
Canterbury manager Gary Wyver said: “We were really geared up for Surbiton – especially after Saturday where we played well against Reading and lost.
“We scored a few against Surbiton, which was pleasing, but we conceded a few so it’s probably not the best we have played this season, but when you are up against Alan Forsyth, it’s always difficult.”
Canterbury’s twogoal maestro Tom Bean almost didn’t play at all over the weekend.
Wyver said: “He was doubtful for both games but we managed to patch him up and get him through.”
Forsyth’s hat-trick took the Surbiton striker’s tally to 19 goals this season. He struck first in the fifth minute as the visitors grabbed control.
However, in a portent of what was to come, Craig Boyne replied ten minutes later – and that was the pattern for the rest of the contest.
Luke Noblett put away a corner only for Josh Pollard to reply; Forsyth struck his second only for Bean to convert a corner for 2-2 and when Forsyth struck again it was Bean who responded in style with ten minutes remaining.
For Surbiton’s part, the international calendar, coupled with the English domestic structure, shows few signs of helping the top clubs.
Surbiton will be missing ten home nations’ international players over the next four weeks and Canterbury took advantage on a trying weekend for the south-London club.
Matt Jones, Surbiton’s team manager, said: “Clearly this was an opportunity missed. Credit to Canterbury for an inspired performance though.
“They are hungry to avoid the relegation play-offs spot and from what I saw they are stronger now than the last time we played them.
“We certainly weren’t as on it. Fatigue levels were starting to show.
“Then we had Scotland and Wales players away and youngsters at Lilleshall. These aren’t excuses, just factors.”