Go south young man

Alan Forsyth

Surbiton and Scotland's Alan Forsyth. Photo: Tim Reder Photography

Going south seems the best bet for any Scot hoping to make it to Rio 2016. So far only two, Gordon McIntyre of Beeston and Chris Grassick of Surbiton, are in the Bisham Abbey-based Team GB training squad. But Grassick’s club mate, Alan Forsyth is making a strong bid to join them in the combined Wales, England and Scotland squad this year.

On Saturday in Surrey, faced by four of the GB squad and watched by GB head coach Bobby Crutchley, Forsyth scored one of the goals as his team were just pulled back in the last 20 seconds by leaders East Grinstead to a 3-3 draw.

In doing so Forsyth  took himself to joint third in the premier division goalscoring chart with ten, nine behind team mate, 2012 Olympian Matt Daly, who scored their other two to leave Surbiton a point behind the Sussex side with a game in hand.

Also watching that day was Alan’s father Derek, head coach of Scotland, who was again at Sugden Road on Sunday to see his son score both goals, the second a minute from full time, as Surbiton came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against a league third-placed Beeston team in the EH Cup quarter-final.

He then coolly converting first one of the initial barrage of three penalty strokes and then the first deciding “sudden death” stroke for a 4-3 win after Beeston's GB star Adam Dixon had seen his shot saved by Surbiton’s Welsh keeper David Kettle.

Forsyth said: “Coming south of the border is a great opportunity to be seen by GB coaches and pit oneself regularly against GB players.” 

Watching Saturday evening’s Twitter draw for the all-premier division cup semis to be played on March 22, Surbiton found that they will have to travel to current holders Cannock, who beat visiting Conference North side Sheffield Hallam 3-1 on Sunday and intriguingly last season beat Surbiton when they were the holders by 4-0 in the last 32 on neutral ground at Sutton Coldfield.

In the other semi, Brooklands MU, host Reading. Reading won 1-0 at Southgate on Sunday while Brooklands narrowly avoided an upset away from home by beating Conference East Side Chichester Priory Park 5-4 in a shootout after a coming back from trailing 3-0 at the interval to draw 3-3 at full time.

A big incentive to win the semis this season will be competing in the first ever Knockout Finals Weekend at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on May 2.