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Men Cannock and Brooklands Match Report

2 years ago By Liz Spencer

Shared Points and a Cup Win

Goalkeeper Kevin Pereira has had very few first-team opportunities since coming over from Canada to play for Reading this season.
But he got his chance last weekend and showed what a talent he is by keeping clean sheets in two matches.

Blues drew 0-0 at Cannock in the NOW: Pensions League on Saturday and then won 1-0 at Southgate on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Cup.
"To keep two clean sheets in two days is brilliant," said coach Andy Watts. "Kevin made some great saves.
"We were tough to break down, but we need to find more precision in the opposition's circle."

If Indian-born Pereira has been left frustrated by his lack of action with the Sonning Lane club then he certainly didn't express it.
"I have had no problem (with the club). I was happy to wait for my chance," said the Canada under-21 international who was making his league debut at Cannock.

It was a poor game, however, with Reading unable to repeat the form they had shown when beating Cannock 4-1 at home in December. They rarely looked like scoring with Jack Clee going closet to finding the home net.

Blues, who were missing John Jackson (working) and the injured Jonty Clarke, earned only one penalty corner which they messed up and failed to get in a shot at goal.
Cannock had more chances, including a number of penalty corners, but could not find a way past Pereira.

Young Will Carter-Keall played well on the left side of defence, while Dan Shingles also stood out.

Just taking the one point is another blow to Reading's chances of making the play-offs. They remain fifth in the table, but are now seven points outside the play-offs places with six matches remaining. They are home to relegation-threatened Brooklands on Sunday (2.30pm).

And they will also be taking on Brooklands, but this time in Manchester, in the semi-finals of the National Cup on March 22.
Blues booked their ticket in the last four by defeating Southgate on Sunday thanks to a 14th-minute goal from Jack Whelan, their youngest player. Jackson drove around the home defence to set up the chance of Whelan, who found the net with a low powerful low shot.
Inside the first two minutes of the game Pereira, diving low to his right, pulled off a superb save from a penalty corner and the Canadian made two equally important stops in the second half.
Reading played better than they had at Cannock, but again their work inside the opposing circle let them down.
There was no reward for them when the draw was made for the semi-finals, as they have to travel for the fifth round in succession. Cannock meet favourites Surbiton in the other semi-final.

Reading forward Simon Mantell was due to see a specialist this week about his concussion which he suffered in the home league match with Southgate four months ago. He has not been able to play since or even drive his car.

Where next?

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Fixtures
Sun 4 Feb
a
Men's 1 Canterbury
League 12:45
Sat 10 Feb
h
Men's 1 Sevenoaks
League 18:00
Sun 18 Feb
a
League 13:00

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