Hockey: Double from Watts rescues Reading

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The Independent Online

Reading, depleted by injuries, salvaged a 3-3 draw with Loughborough Students at Sonning Lane yesterday to retain their unbeaten record and remain three points clear of the defending champions Cannock at the top of the First Division. The Students are seven points behind the leaders.

The Students goalkeeper, Tom Skinner, was sent to the sin bin in the eighth minute for a sliding tackle on Andy Watts outside the circle. Simon Mantell put Reading ahead from the resulting penalty corner.

David Ralph with the first of his two goals equalised five minutes later. Watts restored Reading's lead 11 minutes into the second half. Goals from Mark Gleghorne and Ralph inside three minutes put the Students on course for an upset until a long clearance was chipped on by Watts for his second and a deserved equaliser.

Cannock, with Barry Middleton scoring twice, were comfortable 4-0 winners away to Teddington. Guildford beat Old Loughtonians 5-1 at Chigwell to move ahead of Surbiton into fourth place.

Chloe Rogers's eighth-minute goal was enough to give Chelmsford the points in a 1-0 win over Slough. The win keeps the Essex club one point ahead of Ipswich, who beat Canterbury 2-1.