Hockey: Reading ready to rally

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The Independent Online
Tomorrow's main action in the National League will centre on the top-of-the-table Premiership meeting when second-placed Southgate visit third-placed Reading. At the other end of the table, Doncaster's call to the bottom club Guildford will be a critical game for the Surrey club.

Southgate's visit to Reading could be a high-scoring game, with both sides committed to attack. Reading, after their double defeat by Canterbury, have sorted out their midfield, where the tussle between Manpreet Kochar, capped by England in Egypt, and John Shaw, Southgate's veteran of more than 200 international appearances, could be decisive.

Doncaster make the journey South confident after their first victory of the season last week at Hounslow. Alan Stoves, the player-coach who played a significant part, described the win as: "Terrific. We can now look forward with confidence to the trip to Guildford."

There is unlikely to be much confidence in the Guildford camp after they conceded seven goals in the last 16 minutes of their game against Canterbury to exit the Cup last Sunday, losing 10-5.

In the First Division last week, Alistair Wilson, the 13-year-old son of the former international umpire, Richard, made his League debut for Sheffield against Isca to become the youngest National League player. He is again expected to be in the squad at home to Chelmsford tomorrow.

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