Can­ter­bury show spirit in a ding-dong

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S PREMIER DIVISION - by Sam Jack­son

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.”

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