Hockey: Beeston's battle for play-offs

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BEESTON ARE at full strength after the return of their England Under 18 players returning to the squad for their home match against Guildford tomorrow. Both teams are battling to keep in touch with the top four teams in the National League and maintain their chance of a place in the end of season play-offs.

Southgate and Reading have both been in indoor mode at Crystal Palace, but it is more important for the latter to regain their outdoor touch when the pair meet in North London. Defeat for Reading, who have played a game more than their rivals, will once again cast doubt on their ability to reach the play-offs.

In the First Division, Havant's match against Surbiton is crucial. With both teams striving to regain Premier League status, it will be a contest between home grown youth, on whom Havant are building their future, and experienced internationals, many South African, in whom the Surrey side have placed their faith.

The women's National League resumes today after the mid-season break with another clash between North and South, Slough visiting Hightown. Both clubs have important postponed Fourth Round Cup games tomorrow, withSlough travelling to non-National League Blackburn Northern, who will have Val Robinson in their midfield.Hightown travel to Second Division Sherwood.

Jane Sixsmith's Sutton Coldfield, who are bottom, have a tough trip today to the League leaders, Ipswich.

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