Reading through to EHL Quarter Finals in Amsterdam

Richard Mantell and Darren Cheesman in action for Reading 2012 Men's hockey league

Reading HC have recorded a stunning penalty shoot-out victory over H.C. Rotterdam to seal their place in the Quarter Finals of the Euro Hockey League. With both normal time and silver goal extra time finishing with the scores locked at 2-2, the game went to the drama of penalties with Jonty Clarke scoring the crucial goal. Reading will now face a Quarter Final meeting against KHC Dragons (BEL) who beat Lisnagarvey (IRL) 7-2 in the final match of the day in Amstelveen. 

EHL Review:

Both teams started what would prove to be a sensational contest in lively fashion, with Rotterdam and Reading HC both going close with great chances in the first quarter. Attacking duo Jeroen Hertzberger and Simon Child were a constant threat for Rotterdam, but Reading had arguably the two best chances of the period with Simon Mantell and Darren Cheesman both forcing top class saves from Permin Blaak with powerful reverse stick efforts.

Rotterdam drew first blood in the first minute of the second quarter, with Bas Campbell getting his name on the score-sheet following a fine piece of play from Willem Hertzberger. However, Reading hit back almost immediately through Tom Carson, who showed brilliant composure to control a rocket of a pass from Simon Mantell before slamming home from close range.

The Dutch outfit re-established their lead in the third quarter when Sjoerd Gerretsen got a crucial touch in the circle, but a sensational Reading performance in the final quarter ensured that they took the game into extra time. Man of the match Richard Mantell scored the equalising goal from a penalty corner, finally finding a way past the outstanding Blaak.

The relentless pace continued in the extra time, with Reading HC going closest to breaking through Simon Mantell, only for the Great Britain forward to be denied by another stunning reflex save from the Rotterdam shot-stopper. 

With no goals in extra time, the match went to the lottery of the penalty shoot-out. Reading goalkeeper James Bailey forced an early error in the shoot-out from Nick Wilson which was followed by a string of goals until a miss from Reading’s Craig Peel restored parity. However, a miss from Steve Edwards meant that a goal from Reading and Great Britain striker Jonty Clarke would result in a win for the English champions. Clarke made no mistake, sending both his team and the many Reading fans into raptures. 

EHL Man of the Match: Richard Mantell (Reading HC)

East Grinstead play Beeston in an all English clash tomorrow morning at 08:30am. Watch it LIVE here.