Reading line-up final against East Grinstead

Simon Mantell for Reading at the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals 2013 450x253

In the second of the men’s semi-final matches, Beeston came into battle against an unbeaten Reading side (from the league) with the prize of a place in the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals on offer.  Two hat-tricks and two penalty strokes were amongst the highlights of an entertaining game, which saw eight goals in each half. Ultimately the only figure that matters is the final score; Reading took the spoils 12-4.

Reading captain Richard Springham put his side 1-0 ahead in the fourth minute but Beeston soon carved out a chance for themselves through a penalty corner. Not to be outdone, Beeston captain Adam Dixon dutifully opened the account for his team to level the tie.

A tight turn by Simon Mantell, despite close supervision in the Beeston circle, set up an opportunity for Stephen Dick to tap in and restore Reading’s lead. In the 12th minute Craig Peel slammed home from a similar position and secured a 3-1 advantage for Reading. Beeston’s Ben Arnold was shown a green card shortly afterwards earning him one minute on the bench but with numbers restored, their top-scorer Simon Egerton found the net to leave his side trailing by just one goal. 

Moments later, a great team effort by Reading was finished off with determination by Stephen Dick to give his side a two goal cushion. The men in sky blue weren’t finished though as Simon Mantell was called upon to dispense of a penalty stroke with four minutes still to play in the first half. A modified penalty corner after the hooter had sounded saw some nifty stick work by Nick Catlin result in another goal for Reading who went in 6-2 clear at the break.

It took just three minutes of the second half for Stephen Dick to secure his hat trick, this time drilling the ball in from the edge of the circle to leave the scoreline 7-2 in Reading’s favour. A five goal deficit forced Beeston into bringing on a kicking back with 12 minutes left on the clock, but Reading were unrelenting with another goal, this time for Darren Cheesman.

It was turning into a goal fest. First Simon Egerton clawed one back for the Bees but a second for captain Springham moments later put the score at 9-3. Cheesman secured his brace to put double figures on the board for his side. This prompted Beeston to bring George Pinner back into goal to try and stem the flow but he took out Simon Mantell one-on-one which resulted in a penalty stroke. The afflicted scored his second stroke of the game, for 11-3, however Simon Egerton showed his natural abilities by scoring with his back to goal to grab a hat trick and keep the score whirring over at 11-4. He could have got another soon afterwards but his lifted effort shaved the wrong side of the crossbar.

The final whistle sounded but there was still time for Richard Mantell to bring up the dozen for Reading from a penalty corner routine and to ensure they set-up a dream final against East Grinstead.

Speaking after the game, player of the match, Stephen Dick said: “ It was a great win over Beeston.  It was always going to be a tight game, even though the score line doesn’t reflect that,  Beeston are a good side. We stuck to our game plan, and worked hard; thankfully we were able to come out with a win.

“It feels good to score a hat-trick, especially in front of home crowds.”

Reading Captain, Richard Springham added: “It was a really good win for us today. We took our chances and stuck to the game plan, and thankfully came out on top.  Beeston are a good side. But, we are only half way through, and we’re looking forward to the final.

“East Grinstead is a great team and a great club, but we want to be the best side.”

Beeston Captain, Adam Dixon, explained: “It’s Hard to put my finger on it.  We  weren’t quite there today, we have done a lot of preparation and video training ahead of the game , we’ve had a good league run recently too, so it is just disappointing. Maybe we showed Reading too much respect.”
“Reading look good this year, East Grinstead have been around for many a year now, so it may just be time for a new team.”