Wimbledon Hockey Club’s Ali Brogdon insists there will be no antagonism when their MHL Premier Division season resumes on Sunday with the visit of Surbiton.
When the sides met in September at Sugden Road, Wimbledon went 2-0 ahead, only to finish 2-2.
However, there was controversy at 2-1 when, in the middle of a Surbiton penalty corner in the final five minutes, the floodlights went out.
Surbiton took full advantage when the lights came back on to level and leave Wimbledon frustrated and looking for excuses.
Brogdon said: “It is something that has never happened to me before, especially right in the middle of a penalty corner.
“But it was one of those things, and they scored the equaliser, which was really frustrating for us.
“We had had such a good first half, and it was disappointing we could not keep hold of our lead.”
He added: “That’s something we’ve improved as the season has gone on, if we’ve got a lead, we’ve been able to hold on to it more often than not.
“It’s partly an experience thing, but also confidence.”
The up-turn in form saw Wimbledon go into the Christmas break with five consecutive wins, and now they are just two points behind Surbiton and looking to leapfrog Sunday’s visitors into fourth.
“We’re two very closely matched teams, although they have a little more Premier League experience than us.
“It is such a huge game – if they win they are five points ahead and maybe a little too far ahead, and it would be possibly too much to get back.
“If we can get the win it puts us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
He added: “Getting that fourth spot looks likely to be a straight tussle between us and Surbiton, which is great for local rivalry. But if they look like winning, we may accidentally pull out a fuse.”
Sunday’s game, held at Kings College School, starts at 2pm.