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Men Lose against Brooklands

3 years ago By Liz Spencer

Blues remain fifth...

Reading hopes of making the NOW: Pensions League play-offs suffered a blow when they lost on Sunday, but player-coach Andy Watts is not yet prepared to concede defeat.
"We have still got five matches remaining," he said. The aim is to win them all and then see what happens."

Blues remain fifth in the NOW: Pensions League, but now 10 points behind the fourth club, Wimbledon.
It was the second time this season they had lost to relegation-threatened Brooklands and, like the game in Manchester, Blues were first to score.

Last November they managed to throw away a four-goal advantage before crashing 5-4.
This time they were just one goal up, with Tom Carson scoring from their opening penalty corner after three minutes.

Reading were only ahead for three minutes with the visitors equalising following their first penalty corner. Keeper Kevin Pereira saved the initial shot, but Aussie Ross Hall followed up to fire into the net.

Blues, who were missing six players including internationals John Jackson and Dan Shingles, had the better of the first half, but we kept at bay by the outstanding Chris Scott in the Brooklands goal.
The visitors, however, came storming out of the blocks after half-time, creating good chances and earning three penalty corners in quick succession.

Their pressure paid off in the 44th minute when, with the home defence all over the place, Richard Slater slotted home the winning goal.

Blues pressed hard for an equaliser and forced a penalty corner with the last play of the game, but Carson fired it high and wide.
Watts added: "The result was disappointing as it was game we wanted to win to keep our play-off hopes alive.
"I was not massively unhappy with the performance as there was a lot of effort and endeavour there, but there was not quite the quality that was needed in their circle."
Reading have not seen the last of Brooklands for this season, as they meet them in the semi-finals of the National Cup in Manchester on March 22.

This Sunday, Blues visit Southgate, who have dropped into the relegation zone with Brooklands now moving above them.
Reading beat Southgate two weeks ago in the cup, but the Londoners will field a stronger side this time.
Blues will be without Jackson, who is on World League duty with Ireland, while Jonty Clarke and Simon Mantell remain sidelined through injury.

But England midfielder Shingles, Jack Whelan and Will Carter-Keall are all set to return after missing the Brooklands defeat.


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