Reading aim to bounce back

Reading Captain Chris Newman works his way ahead of EG's Dom Bowden. Credit Ravi Ghowry - 450

Reading lost their first Men’s Hockey League Premier Division match in five weeks at home against East Grinstead last week, but they will be aiming to get back to winning ways as they tackle last season’s champions Wimbledon at Sonning Lane on Sunday.

Wimbledon also suffered defeat last time out with Brooklands Manchester University beating them 4-0, making for an intriguing clash between the teams currently third and fourth in the table.

Reading won 2-1 when they played at Wimbledon three weeks ago, but Manager Chris Davey said: “That win was a very tough match, and Wimbledon felt slightly unlucky to lose it, even though we took our chances well.

“We’re not reading too much into last week’s defeat to East Grinstead – I thought it was slightly flattering for them.

“I’m delighted to be where we are in the league. If you had said at the beginning of the season that we could be third heading into the Christmas break, we would’ve taken it for sure.

“The spirit is very good here, we have a good bunch of guys both old and new. Winning on Sunday will make a huge difference as it’s a long break and this will be the last memory we have for several weeks, so its important that it’s a positive result. And it will be good to create a bit more space between us and Wimbledon.”

Elsewhere, leaders Holcombe play at Cannock on Saturday evening, while second-placed Surbiton – who are level on points with Holcombe - are at home against Beeston.

And after their 4-2 win over Reading last weekend, East Grinstead go to bottom of the table Canterbury for a match also on Saturday night.

The other top-flight match on Sunday sees in-form Brooklands Manchester University host Hampstead and Westminster.

In the Men’s Conference West, unbeaten league leaders Cardiff and Met go to Guildford, while the University of Birmingham are also on the road at Chichester Priory Park.

Without a competitive league match for two weeks’ Conference North leaders Loughborough Students face hosts Sheffield Hallam, while second-placed Bowdon go to Preston as they bid to close the one-point gap.

Harleston Magpies host leaders Richmond in the Men’s Conference East on Sunday, while Sevenoaks will be hoping to close the gap to the top of the table when they go to Cambridge City.

* The above photograph shows Reading captain Chris Newman in action against East Grinstead. Credit Ravi Ghowry.

FIXTURES – Saturday, November 28

Men’s Hockey League

Men’s Premier Division
Canterbury v East Grinstead 18:00
Surbiton v Beeston 18:00
Cannock v Holcombe 19:00

Men’s Conference East
Bromley and Beckenham v Southgate 16:30

FIXTURES – Sunday, November 29

Men’s Hockey League

Men’s Premier Division
Brooklands Manchester University v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00
Reading v Wimbledon 14:30

Men’s Conference West
Isca v Indian Gymkhana 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Cheltenham 13:00
Fareham v University of Exeter 13:30
Chichester Priory Park v University of Birmingham 13:30
Guildford v Cardiff and Met 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Sheffield Hallam v Loughborough Students 13:30
Lichfield v Deeside Ramblers 13:30
Wakefield v Olton and West Warwicks 14:00
Preston v Bowdon 14:00
Doncaster v University of Durham 14:00

Men’s Conference East
Oxted v Brighton and Hove 12:45
Cambridge City v Sevenoaks 13:00
West Herts v Teddington 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Richmond 14:00