Hockey: Thompson stakes his claim: Hounslow prevail without conviction

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The Independent Online
ROB THOMPSON staked an early claim for the last place in the England World Cup squad as the First Division of the National League got under way yesterday. Thompson scored twice in Hounslow's 3-0 win against Slough with Bob Crutchley getting the third. It was, however, a far from impressive performance against a side who just avoided relegation last season.

Havant, the defending champions, could manage only a 1-1 draw against Stourport, despite taking the lead through Stuart Avery. Mark Harradine equalised from a penalty corner.

Surbiton, thanks to a grafting performance from Ian Jolly in midfield, won the battle of the newcomers with three second-half goals against Guildford. Jon Molloy put them ahead in the 39th minute, Gareth Notton got the second and then, when his powerful shot hit the upright, Simon Tinkler was on hand to score the third from the rebound.

The Australian Ashley Watson, playing in his first League game, gave Trojans a splendid start at Teddington with a third-minute goal only to finish on the losing side in a 5-2 defeat. Another overseas player, Spain's Pablo Villar, scored an early goal on his debut for Reading to set up a 3-1 win at Bournville.

Jason Lee scored the season's first hat-trick in East Grinstead's 4-1 win at home to Hull, while Southgate were comfortable 4-1 winners at Firebrands.

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