HOCKEY Daunting Cup date for Plymouth at Surbiton

england hockey shieldPlymouth Marjon, eighth in the West of England & South Wales Hockey League, have been drawn away to unbeaten England Hockey League leaders Surbiton in the Men’s Cup third round.

The Men’s Cup is England Hockey’s equivalent of football’s FA Cup competition and Plymouth will need to become giant-killers on Sunday November 15 if they are to progress past the last 16 into the quarter finals.

Plymouth hockey coach Jamie Oxley admitted: “It’s a fantastic draw for us to be playing the best team in the country, it’s just such a shame it’s not at home.

“I honestly don’t know at this stage how we will approach the tie because they’ve been putting five, six and seven goals past the top teams in the country.”

Surbiton have won their opening seven EHL Men’s Premier fixtures, scoring an average of five goals a game, led by Great Britain and Scotland ace Alan Forsyth, who tops the scoring charts with 14 goals.

The internationally star-studded Surbiton side include Forsyth’s GB and Scotland team-mate Chris Grassick as well as New Zealand Olympian Andy Hayward, former GB Olympian Matt Daly and a trio of Welsh internationals including Lewis Prosser, Rupert Shipperley and goalkeeper David Kettle.

The free scoring Surrey side eased through round two of the cup with a big 10-1 win at Chelmsford while Plymouth squeezed past West of England & South Wales Premiership rivals Robinsons 4-3 on penalties after the tie finished 1-1 in normal time.

Plymouth bounced back from 1-0 down at midway thanks to Ian White’s mazy run and finish on 65 minutes and George Bissett keeping his cool under the mid-day autumn sun to slot away the reds’ fourth successful penalty after Robbies missed their sixth stroke.

Oxley added: “We have got a league game at Cardiff University on the Saturday so I imagine the plan will be to travel up overnight.”

Surbiton host London derby rivals Wimbledon in a high profile EHL top flight match on Saturday November 14 at 6.00pm so a time for the Sunday cup tie against Plymouth has yet to be set.

• Taunton Vale will play their another WoESWHL Premiership match under floodlights when they host University of Exeter A at Taunton Vale Sports Club tomorrow at 2000.

Vale opened their league campaign with a 3-2 win at Bristol club Firebrands on a Friday and last time out at home beat Team Bath Buccaneers A 6-1 under lights.

However Taunton lost a seven-goal thriller 4-3 at Truro last Saturday and will be seeking to bounce back.

Bristol University still top the league following their sixth win, a 4-2 round six victory over Plymouth thanks to a superb hat-trick from Devon’s Jordan Hussell.

In Saturday's match of the day unbeaten University visit Matt Plimmer's fourth placed Robinsons in a Bristol derby at Badminton School, Westbury-on-Trym (1330).

The West Clubs Women's Hockey League resumes on Saturday following a two week mid-term break.

Top of the table Exe - five wins from six - visit sixth placed Team Bath Buccaneers in the top flight (12.30).

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