Reading win away at Polo Farm
By Chris Powell
Reading 5 - Canterbury 3
It was an early start as Reading made the long journey down to the Kent countryside for their game against Canterbury, who were riding high in the league. The 2 hour trip provided Joe "Cheddar" Chedd an opportunity to recharge the batteries after a Halloween night out which involved some Uni shenanigans and a visit to the A&E. The team had an older look to it as the junior pro's took part in u18 trials. Gary Noble
was making his return to the team after some temporary time away with Indian Gym enjoying their post-match curries. The game started with Reading showing some good hockey at a ground which has been good to Reading in the recent past. Canterbury opened the scoring before captain Mike danced and weaved his way into the circle showing some neat stick work to round the keeper and get Reading back on level terms. The game then took a turn for the worse as Player coach Powell limped off after an innocuous ball to the ankle before the major talking point of the game. Terry, making a storming run up the left was mowed down from behind with a diving hockey stick chop, which not even the mighty wall of Terry could withstand. Terry was unable to recover or return to action sending him to the sanctuary of the bench to consider his legal options. Reading regrouped and what surely should be named "the banker", Lloydy converted a shorter corner routine to slot in the equaliser, his last goal before he celebrates the big “Three zero”. The end of the first half ended with Adam Waldon needing to be calmed down by captain Mike, after getting involved in some handbag tussles with a Canterbury player. The second half could have been the sequel to Band of Brothers as Reading put body after body on the line, defending like trojans at times with Garry making some great saves. No more was the commitment evident than Pete Roseff who literally threw his body and head into the line of fire for the cause. Unfortunately Pete too succumbed to the physical nature of the match and limped off. Reading’s third goal arrived with captain Mike converting a short corner drag flick into the top corner restoring the lead. Canterbury were growing frustrated and it was as if they decided to employ "if the ball gets past the player, the player doesn't" tactics. NFL style body checks were inflicted on Reading’s midfield in an attempt to break the resistance. Canterbury scored a third before Readings 4th and 5th goals arrived to close out the match. The 4th goal was nothing to write home about, player coach Powell sporting an impressive limp, found himself upfront and with the freedom of the Canterbury circle to receive a pass and swing agriculturally to send the ball past the goalkeeper, gifting Powell his first and likely last goal in a Reading shirt. The 5th goal resulted from some composed play from the back which saw the ball make its way up the left channel to Sam "Berocca" Howells who advanced the ball to debutant Tom to round the last defender and slot the ball into the empty goal. The game ended and will likely go down as one for the ages.