Showdown for Reading

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The Independent Online
With the third round of the Hockey Association Cup, which marks the first appearance of the National League sides, taking place tomorrow there is a rare full programme of Saturday National League hockey, writes Peter Colwill.

League leaders Reading and Old Loughtonians, level on points and undefeated, meet at Chigwell. Both sides recruited heavily during the summer and have been scoring freely. Loughtonians may enjoy a slight edge after putting six goals past Teddington last week. Cannock, in third place, play Surbiton, who are fifth.

Guildford, the Cup holders, have home advantage on both days - against Barford Tigers and Second Division Harleston Magpies - but Teddington, who have featured in the last four finals, travel to Dereham who lead the Adnams East Premier B Division. Southgate also face a potentially hazardous trip into the east to play Ipswich the Premier A Division leaders.

Nottingham, second in the DTZ Midland Premier and Cup winners in 1976, pose a threat to Slough who are one place off the bottom of the National League Second Division. There are two all First Division ties with Havant at home to Stourport and St Albans hosting Hull.