A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match preview – W1s vs. Southgate (Vitality Division One South, 2nd December, 2023)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe take on Southgate on Saturday afternoon (5pm) in their final Vitality Division One South match before Christmas, ahead of Sunday’s cup quarter-final against Wimbledon 2s.

Nick Bandurak’s side ran out 2-1 winners at the Southgate Hockey Centre on the opening day of the season as part of a double-header, courtesy of goals from Emma Bandurak and Phoebe Steele. Holcombe’s men also won 5-2 at the Southgate Hockey Centre.

The two sides have enjoyed contrasting fortunes so far this season, with Holcombe currently sitting in second and newly-promoted Southgate down in ninth – just a point behind both Wimbledon 2s and Team Bath Buccaneers.

Andy Richardson’s side romped to their Conference title last season but appear to have found the step up a tough one, particularly in attack.

Only one team, Canterbury, have scored less than Southgate’s 10 notches, though the Kent side are the only team in the bottom-half to have shipped less than Southgate’s 17 goals.

Holcombe, meanwhile, are the highest scorers in the division but do currently have the worst defensive record in the top-half, with 16 conceded in nine matches. Both Surbiton 2s and Barnes, though, have played a game less than Bandurak’s side – the Great Britain forward once more missing from the sidelines this weekend with GB set to get their Pro League campaign underway next week in Argentina.

Southgate do have two former Holcombe players in their ranks in Lorna Cruickshank and Charlotte Childs, while Robyn Hodges is set to face her sister, Bethan, who plays for Richardson’s side.

Entry at Holcombe Park is free on Saturday. The match will be streamed on Veo Live and updates posted on our social media channels.

Image: Becci Woodhead