By Richard Bright
Before Saturday night, Surbiton and Oxted had never met in the National League but had done so in the Men’s Cup over the years. And this felt like a Cup match, the driving rain propelling Oxted to a superb victory over champions Surbiton after putting in what goalscorer Tim Guise-Brown described as a “massive shift”.
Coming just a week after their 10-6 defeat to Old Georgians, a 49th-minute Guise-Brown penalty corner settled this encounter and ended two notable records for Mark Pearn’s side, who were missing seven outfield players to Great Britain duties.
For defeat marked an end to their performances on the road (they last lost away in March 2018), while their failure to find the net saw a six-year run of scoring in every Premier Division match come to a shuddering halt.
In an ever so tight mid-table, victory has put Oxted right in the mix for a top six place in Phase 1 of this season’s league format.
Guise-Brown, who now has six PC strikes this season, said: “The boys put in a massive shift. After last week’s disappointment we worked really hard on correcting our counter cover defence.
“We knew Surbiton would be very dangerous on the counter so we worked extremely hard on slowing them down as soon as they gained possession of the ball.”
Guise-Brown’s goal came at a crucial time, knowing how Old Georgians finished their last game with a speight of goals in the last quarter.
“This week we took alot more care of the ball in the last quarter of the game,” he added. “It was a massive result for us as a club and probably one of the biggest in the club’s history. We are all really proud of our effort but know a lot more work has to go in to ensure we are where we want to be come Christmas time.”
Captain Brenden Bissett added: “We worked a lot on our defensive play after last weekend’s performance and also our game management during key moments of the match. I think those two focuses were behind our performance. PC defense and killing momentum in the later stages of the game really helped us get the win.”