Canterbury HC 2-6 Surbiton HC
Canterbury HC 2-6 Surbiton HC

Canterbury Men’s began their Premier League campaign against Surbiton on Saturday night, suffering a 6-2 loss. 

With a number of team debuts, a team completely changed from previous seasons and a new coaching team it was always going to be a tough start. Congratulations to the Schellinger Twins (Dan and Chris), Michal Nowakowski, Luke Smithard, Tom Moore, Paddy Brookson, Conor Poulain, Conor Annand, Adam Price and Harrison Smith for pulling on the Canterbury shirt for the first time (some for the first time in a long time)

The game started with a frenetic pace with hard tackles and big hits happening all over the pitch. Canterbury’s cause was not helped by the early sending off of James Oates. Some toys were thrown out of the pram which ended with a Surbiton player on the floor after James’s hand shoved him there.

A moment of poor discipline followed a minute later by a penalty stroke to Surbiton, which Forsyth calmly slotted home.

Canterbury tried to work their way back into the game but six minutes later Surbiton struck again with a penalty corner. At this point Surbiton were cementing their dominance and Canterbury were fighting to keep the score line respectable before half time.

Surbiton scored again, giving them a healthy 3-0 lead going into the break. Canterbury had their chances but failed to convert, including a rocket of a penalty corner, saved well by the Surbiton keeper.

After some fairly stern talks and coaching points, Canterbury came out ready to fight for the second half. There were some periods of good possession, but Surbiton stood their ground. Early in the half two quickfire goals virtually sealed the win for Surbiton with Forsyth and Prosser scoring on 37 and 39 minutes.

Never accepting that defeat was inevitable and with plenty of time on the clock, Canterbury woke up, went into fifth gear and started playing hockey. The fightback started on the 50th minute with Craig Boyne slotting home a penalty. There was a good call for another penalty later in the game as Harry Roberts found his stick hacked from every angle whilst trying to shoot. The umpires disagreed and let play continue.

Canterbury battled on and were certainly showing glimpses of what might be to come, Surbiton were certainly not comfortable and later the hard work paid off, new signing and big flicker Michal stepped up and fired a penalty corner home.

Unfortunately, the pressure and good play from Canterbury did not turn into goals and any real hop of a comeback was put to bed by a third strike from Forsyth.

An entertaining game and some good play from both teams with Surbiton ultimately showing their experience against a new look Canterbury side.