AFTER salvaging a win with just seven seconds remaining at Cannock last weekend, East Grinstead could be facing another tough clash in this weekend’s NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division when they head to rivals Reading on Sunday.
Last season’s runners-up, the Sussex outfit fielded four debutants last weekend, and may well do the same against as they bid to beat a Reading side who were beaten 3-1 by Surbiton a week earlier.
Manager Matt Jones said: “Historically there have been some great match-ups with such a lot of talent on show, and both teams have taken points at home and away, so you can never predict what’s going to happen between Reading and East Grinstead.
“We got off to a great start with a great performance at Cannock, even though we needed a last minute goal. We want 70 minutes of quality hockey rather than patches, and we will be working on that.
“But we’re in really good shape with the four key players who were missing last week coming back into contention. And we’ve got a lot of talented players who will also be pushing for a place in the team.”
Elsewhere, Hampstead and Westminster go into their clash with Canterbury full of confidence after their new-look side secured a dramatic late win over much-fancied Wimbledon.
Top signing Andy Hayward slotted home his first for the club with a trademark penalty corner late on, and then almost from the re-start Will Naylor popped up with the winner with just two minutes remaining.
Saturday evening’s sole match sees Cannock play host to Brooklands Manchester University, while on Sunday champions Beeston – who beat Canterbury 6-2 last weekend – go to Wimbledon in search of more goals.
After beating Reading last weekend Surbiton are on the road for Southgate on Sunday.
Following last weekend’s emphatic 11-0 drubbing of Whitchurch, NOW: Pensions Conference West leaders Cardiff and Met – who missed out on promotion in the play-offs – head to Indian Gymkhana on Sunday.
The early leaders in the NOW: Pensions Conference North, former Premier Division side Sheffield Hallam head to Deeside Ramblers, while Bowdon will want to build on last weekend’s 6-3 win over Wakefield when they go to Leek.
Ambitious Holcombe continue their bid for promotion when they go to Bromley and Beckenham in the NOW: Pensions Conference East. They will want to show the form which led to them beating Old Loughtonians 5-1 last weekend.
* Pic: Andy Hayward, Hampstead and Westminster v Wimbledon, Sept 13 2014 – credit Mark Clews
NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League
Saturday, September 20 2014
NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Cannock v Brooklands Manchester Univ 18:00
Sunday, September 21 2014
NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Hampstead & Westminster v Canterbury 14:00
Reading v East Grinstead 14:30
Southgate v Surbiton 14:30
Wimbledon v Beeston 14:00
NOW: Pensions Conference West
Barford Tigers v Guildford 13:00
Indian Gymkhana v Cardiff & Met 14:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Fareham 13:00
Univ of Birmingham v Cheltenham 12:30
Whitchurch v Univ of Exeter 13:00
NOW: Pensions Conference North
Belper v Doncaster 12:30
Deeside Ramblers v Sheffield Hallam 13:30
Leek v Bowdon 14:00
Loughborough Students v Univ of Durham 14:00
Wakefield v Olton & West Warwicks 13:30
NOW: Pensions Conference East
Bromley and Beckenham v Holcombe 13:00
Cambridge City v Brighton and Hove 12:30
Chichester Priory Park v Richmond 13:30
Old Loughtonians v West Herts 14:00
Oxted v Teddington 12:45