The M1s travelled down to Sevenoaks on Saturday for round eight of Division One South buoyed by their 8-2 victory over University of Bristol, but also in the knowledge that they had failed to record a win at Hollybush Lane in at least the last six seasons.
In a first for this season, the M1s started slowly, failing to score in the opening quarter and were on the back foot turning over too much cheap ball as they struggled on the slippy pitch. Luckily, Sevenoaks failed to take advantage, creating few opportunities in what was a scrappy quarter.
The second quarter saw some improvement from Southgate as they started to find their usual pattern of play, but again goal scoring chances were few and far between for both sides. In the 34th minute, Sevenoaks were awarded their first penalty corner, the ball being slipped left where Ben Alberry beat Savas and Kwan to find the back of the goal and go 1-0 up.
It was now clear that Southgate would have a battle on their hands in the second half if they were to maintain their 100% record. The turning point of the match happened four minutes into the third quarter as Southgate won the ball deep in their own half, Charles Hamilton broke with the ball along the right hand touchline, finding Karan Sofat with a pass down the line. After another twenty metres of hard running, Karan crossed the ball into the circle for Matt Ramshaw to run onto. Unfortunately, the pass was a metre too far in front of the sprinting Ramshaw and as Richard Potton in the Sevenoaks goal came out to meet the ball, it was anybody’s guess who was going to get there first. As both players dived for the ball, Potton won the race, blocking the ball and sending Ramshaw flying. Once he had found his feet, Ramshaw’s efforts were rewarded with a ten minute yellow card from Umpire Ben Peters. This seemed galvanise Southgate who now had to play a more patient game and keep hold of the ball, perhaps more akin to the usual pattern of play and one they do well.
They were rewarded in the fifty third minute winning a penalty corner, Drew Burkin saw his shot saved by Potton, only for injector Jack Middleton to pick up the loose ball and fire it into the back of the net. With Southgate now firmly on top, they won another penalty corner five minutes later which was duly converted by Teague Marcano who sent his flick flying into the top corner putting the M1s ahead for the first time in the match. Sevenoaks were now chasing the match, and were caught on the break as the ball was played to Drew Burkin on the 23 with one Sevenoaks defender and Potton to beat.
Burkin slipped past the defender, drew Potton wide out of his goal before slotting the ball under the diving keeper to complete the 3-1 win. The M1s travel to Thames Ditton on Saturday to take on struggles Old Cranleighan in their final match before the winter break.