Reading attempt to halt worrying slide

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The Independent Online
Reading, once Premier Division leaders, visit Old Loughtonians tomorrow having lost their last three League games. Already without the international Howard Hoskin, who will be missing for the next six months with a stress facture, his fellow England colleagues Mark Pearn and Simon Mason have injuries and are doubtful. New Zealander Grant Edwards has also gone home for Christmas.

Julian Halls returns for Old Loughts following the two-match suspension given by his club in the knowledge that Essex has extended the punishment to 16 days. Halls is appealing against the suspension. Kalbir Takher is missing from the squad of the League leaders, Cannock, at Guildford as he is still under suspension.

The much-awaited return of Rob Hill to Havant's side is at Surbiton in the day's relegation battle. Havant won their first point of the season in a 3-3 draw against Old Loughtonians last weekend.

Surbiton, one place above Havant, have added David Main, the former Hounslow player, to their squad and hope that their captain, Martin Constable, will return after glandular fever.

Second-placed Southgate make a short trip to Teddington, for whom Nick Conway returned last weekend with two goals in the cup victory over Gore Court.