Hampstead brushed aside by title-chasing Reading

Hampstead & Westminster were flattened by English League title-challengers Reading at Paddington Rec on Saturday. With the home side safe from relegation in seventh place and the visitors needing to win in order to

Hampstead & Westminster 2

Reading 5

Hampstead & Westminster were flattened by English League title-challengers Reading at Paddington Rec on Saturday.

With the home side safe from relegation in seventh place and the visitors needing to win in order to secure a title decider at Cannock, the visitors were always going to be favourites.


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Yet the game began with Hampstead winning two corners and pressing the Reading goal.

Firstly, Andy Cornick's deflection went wide and then Ed Bevan's slap-hit was saved by Brothers in the Reading goal.

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In the space of 10 minutes, the game turned and the visitors went 2-0 up.

Andy Watts fired Reading in front and then a Matt Armitage deflection on a penalty-corner doubled their lead.

The game threatened to escape Hampstead as Reading continued to dominate the match.

However, Hampstead defended doggedly and gained just reward for their efforts before the half time break when an overhead from Dan Fox eluded the Reading defence and allowed Ben Roger's to run on to the ball. He slipped past Brothers in goal for Cornick to tap in the finish.

The second half did not live up to the first and left the home crowd disappointed by a below-par Hampstead effort.

Reading dominated from the outset and soon increased their lead through a couple of penalty-corners.

After the impressive Rich Mantel slapped into the bottom right-hand corner, Lanyon scored low and left to leave the score 4-1.

Reading attacked in numbers and Hampstead failed to put passes together or consistently retain the ball in the attacking half.

A consolation goal came from John Reidel after some great work on the left by Mike Williamson and Cornick to make the score 4-2.

But Reading soon replied as Watts scored a second in open play to finish the game.

Hampstead: Simpkins, Bevan, Fox, Francis, Davis, Witt, Reidel, Williamson, Smith, Rogers, Cornick.

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