Last gasp Grinstead remain on course for cloud nine

David Condon celebrates for EG

East Grinstead 5 (2)
Ross Stott 1 (FG)
Josep Farres-Palet 9 (FG)
David Condon 29 (FG)
Adam Seccull 39 (FG)
Ben Allberry 40 (FG)

Reading 4 (2)
Dan Shingles 11, 14 (FG, FG)
James Carson 27 (FG)
Tom Carson 31 (FG)

East Grinstead left it late to keep their hopes of a ninth straight indoor title alive. In an end to end thriller, they overturned a courageous Reading 5-4, scoring the winner with just seven seconds left.

Reading opted to start the game with six outfield players, leaving Tommy Alexander on the bench. The Sussex outfit were able to capitalise within the opening minute as Ross Stott drilled home into an empty goal.

East Grinstead doubled their lead in the tenth minute. Josep Farres-Palet was able to squeeze through two Reading defenders, showing good strength before converting. Not deterred by the blistering start, Reading didn’t panic and soon found themselves on the scoresheet. Paddy Smith saved the initial strike in the East Grinstead goal but Dan Shingles pounced on the rebound and fired into the roof of the net.

It wasn’t long before Richard Springham’s side were back on level terms, with Shingles bagging his second. A through ball from Richard Mantell found the No10 at the top of the circle and the midfielder made no mistake in turning his defender and slotting low into the corner.  It remained 2-2 heading into the break.

Tom Carson carved through the East Grinstead defence in the opening minutes of the second half but his pass was unable to find a team mate to convert. However, his brother James soon ensured that Reading took the lead for the first time in the match when he slapped home an Andy Watts cross on 27 minutes.

Trailing by 3-2, East Grinstead chose to match their counterparts' tactics and substituted goalkeeper Smith. Having an extra outfield player immediately paid dividends as David Condon dribbled through the Reading defence to slot home and draw the scores level.  

With little time to draw breath, Reading soon restored their lead. Tom Carson ran the length of the pitch and despite losing his balance, still managed to poke the ball over the line for a stunning goal. East Grinstead weren’t done yet though. With two minutes left on the clock Adam Seccull drew Richard Organ’s side level before Ben Allberry broke Reading hearts in the dying seconds. Lukas Klipper won the ball, before finding an unmarked Allberry who fired under an onrushing Alexander to seal a 5-4 victory.

East Grinstead's Nick Catlin spoke to England Hockey after the game.

East Grinstead will take on Surbiton in the Final at 17.15. You can watch the game live on the England Hockey Facebook page.