Hockey: Reading want Wyatt at his best

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The Independent Online
Reading and Old Loughtonians, who clash at Reading tomorrow, saw their title hopes weaken last weekend when they were surprisingly beaten. With both sides expecting to be at full strength with a galaxy of internationals available, the contest could be exciting and is unlikely to be a game for the faint-hearted.

For Reading much will depend on the form of Jon Wyatt in midfield who, by his standards, had something of an off day last Sunday against East Grinstead. Southgate, who let the national title slip away from them last season after showing impressive mid-season form, tomorrow entertain Teddington and could take over the leadership if Cannock slip. Still without the Olympian defender Soma Singh, the arrival of Peter Boxell and the player-coach, James Duthie, has considerably strengthened Southgate's defence. With 23-year-old Rowan Davies recapturing something of the form and fitness which brought him over 30 caps between 1991/95, their prospects look good.

Cannock, who currently lead Southgate on goal difference, entertain Guildford who, in spite of their scoring potential, have been shipping too many early goals this season to mount a serious challenge.

There has been a brief flurry of player transfers this week. Surbiton, who travel to Hampshire to face luckless and pointless Havant in a bottom of the table game, have re-signed David Main from Hounslow and also brought in the Gibraltar international Albert Brugara who is studying in England.

Havant's signing, Rob Hill, has to wait another week before he is able to play. His manager, Chris Pickett, said: "Rob's return is causing great excitement and the news alone may be enough to provide extra motivation this week and for us to collect our first points of the season." Surbiton are five points clear of the Hampshire club.

The South African Paul de Plessis, from Transvaal, has signed for East Grinstead and could be in the squad for their game against Hounslow.

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