An impressive Beeston comeback helped them secure a first win of the Men’s Premier Division season by beating Oxted 3-1.
When Josh Birtles fired Oxted into a 19th-minute lead, it looked like Beeston might add another loss to their record of two draws and two defeats this season but Ben Collinson pulled them level before half-time.
Sam Apoola then forced the ball home early in the second half to put the hosts ahead before Henry Croft sealed the deal with a late third goal.
At the top of the table, Old Georgians and Surbiton both stayed perfect with big wins over struggling opponents.
Old Georgians were 6-0 victors over the University of Durham as they brushed off the absence of top-scorer Sam Ward, who is recovering from hand surgery.
James Tindall scored the first and last goals of the rout, with Tom Doran, Ashley Jackson, Chris Proctor and Tom Carson netting in between to regain top spot, just one week after they were knocked off it by Surbiton.
This week, Surbiton also scored six, as they downed winless East Grinstead 6-1 for a fifth straight triumph.
One week after scoring nine in a match for the first time in 15 years, Surbiton again ran wild as David Goodfield scored twice while Luke Taylor, Jamie Golden, Ben Boon and Ben Park hit the target once apiece – Jamie Wallace notching East Grinstead’s only goal.
Hampstead & Westminster stayed unbeaten but squandered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Holcombe.
Toby Roche’s 24th-minute strike and Sam French’s finish from a penalty corner just before the hour mark had H&W in control, only for a four-minute salvo from Harry Trusker and Nick Bandurak to snatch a point for Holcombe.
And Wimbledon notched their fifth win of the campaign but not before they were made to sweat by University of Exeter, who narrowly missed out on a first point of the year in a 2-1 defeat.
Sam Hooper’s fifth-minute finish from a penalty corner put Wimbledon ahead before Ed Horler did likewise just before-half-time to make it 2-0.
But Jake Payton netted for the university side to set up a grandstand finish, although they were unable to find an equaliser.
Division One North
Three university sides continue to dominate Division One North as Loughborough Students, University of Nottingham and Cardiff & Met all maintained their unbeaten records. Cardiff & Met did drop their first points of the campaign as they drew 2-2 away at Olton & West Warwickshire meaning they fall to third – with Loughborough recording a convincing 5-1 victory over Cambridge City and Nottingham doing enough to beat University of Birmingham 3-2. Meanwhile, Deeside Ramblers and City of Peterborough played out a mesmerising 4-4 draw, while Bowdon beat Sheffield Hallam 2-0.
Division One South
Reading remain dominant in Division One South, with Old Cranleighan the latest opponents to be put to the sword in a 7-0 thrashing. The leaders have now scored a mammoth 29 goals in five matches this season, although second-placed Canterbury were also keeping the scorers busy in a 6-1 triumph over Southgate. The division’s other games were closer affairs as Brighton & Hove bounced back from last week’s 8-0 reverse to Canterbury with a creditable 2-2 draw at Teddington, Sevenoaks snuck past Oxford Hawks 3-2 and Havant went down 3-1 at home to Team Bath Buccs.
Old Loughtonians remain the only side yet to be defeated in the Conference East, thanks to a 4-2 victory over West Herts. Elsewhere, Richmond edged to a fourth win on the spin as a solitary goal was enough to best Bromley & Beckenham 1-0 and London Edwardians also have four victories from five after squeaking past Indian Gymkhana 2-1. Wapping and London Wayfarers contested an enthralling 3-3 draw, while the division’s other game also had six goals – Spencer emerging 4-2 winners against Hampstead & Westminster 2s
A battle of the unbeaten teams in the Conference Midlands ended with Harborne emerging 4-1 victors over Harleston Magpies and leapfrogging their opponents in the table. Barford Tigers are the new leaders on points difference after they triumphed 6-2 at Khalsa Leamington. Lichfield and Bedford recorded 3-1 victories over Loughborough Town and University of Birmingham 2s respectively, with St Albans comfortably beating winless Cambridge University 4-1.
A top-of-the-table clash headlined the weekend’s action in the Conference North and nothing could separate leaders Belper from second-placed Didsbury Northern, as they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw to maintain their positions. At the other end of the table, Alderley Edge triumphed in the battle of the winless teams as they beat Wakefield 5-2, while Doncaster suffered a first defeat of the season to Timperley – 4-2. University of Durham 2s versus Preston ended 2-2 and Leeds lost 5-3 to Beeston 2s.
Isca are the new leaders of the Conference West after winning away at University of Exeter 2s 3-1 but just one point separates the top four. The table-toppers heading into the weekend, Clifton Robinsons, slip to fourth after surprisingly being held to a 0-0 draw by Fareham and they are one point behind the three teams ahead of them – Isca, Ashmoor (who beat Cheltenham 2-0) and University of Bristol (who downed Plymouth Marjon 3-1). In the division’s other game, Chichester edged past Cardiff University 3-2 for their second victory of the campaign.