The new season got underway this weekend with comfortable wins for Cannock, Reading and Old Loughtonians, three sides yet to win a title but expected to be in the running at the end of the season.
Cannock yesterday claimed their first victory over Havant, twice champions, before a large crowd in sunshine in Hampshire. A hat-trick from their new signing, Bobby Crutchley, helped them to a 5-0 win masterminded by the England centre-half, Kalbir Takher, who completed the scoring with a solo goal. Richard Organ opened the scoring after 14 minutes in which Havant's young side had more than held their own.
Reading, with goals from Paddy Osborn, Howard Hoskin and Scott Ashdown, won 3-1 at Indian Gymkhana and Old Loughtonians, lifted by a Nick Thompson hat-trick, beat Bournville 4-0 on Saturday.
Southgate, whose cupboard has been bare since they became the first National League winners, went better at Stourport with a 7-1 win, including three goals from Adrian Simmons.
There would have been another hat-trick at Guildford for Ian Jennings had he not put a 67th-minute penalty stroke on to the crossbar. Nevertheless, Guildford ran out 5-0 winners.
The day's biggest crowd was at Harleston where Magpies, celebrating their 60th anniversary, twice came from behind with penalty corner goals to draw 2-2 with Hampstead.
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