Hockey: Reading sweep to stylish start

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The Independent Online

Reading started their European Cup Winners' Cup campaign in grand style in Eindhoven yesterday with an 8-0 win against Grasshoppers Zurich from Switzerland. New Zealand's World Cup striker Ken Robinson scored four goals to continue his impressive form for the National League club.

It was, however, the home grown player Andy Todd who shone in the Berkshire club's first-half performance. Robinson scored the first goal in the eighth minute as Reading ventured into the Swiss circle for the first time. Todd then provided the perfect pass for Robinson, which the Kiwi put wide from close quarters, before scoring the first of his two goals. The second came from a well worked penalty corner. Robinson completed his hat-trick on the stroke of half time to give them a 5-0 interval lead.

Grasshoppers, with the former German international Christian Stengler marshalling their midfield, forced an early second half save out of Simon Mason, who had been a spectator throughout the first half.

With the Swiss side down to 10 men after the temporary suspension of Stuart Eimslie, Reading restarted their motors and Mark Pearn scored at the far post. Scott Ashdown collected a rebound off the goalkeeper's pads and, with just three minutes left, Robinson collected his fourth to make it 8-0.

The England Under-16 girls, with goals from Charlotte Hartley and Kim Youdan, lost 3-2 to the Netherlands while the Under-18s were beaten 4-1.

There was no charity about the first ever National League game on a Good Friday. There were five temporary suspensions, four to Loughborough Students – who at one stage went down to eight players – in their 5-4 defeat at Surbiton.