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Hampstead give Reading a scare before conceding defeat

PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010

Reading 4 Hampstead &Westminster 1 HAMPSTEAD & Westminster lost their English League premier division opener at champions Reading on Sunday. The Paddington Rec-based club struggled for much of last season and expected a tough test against last season s

Reading 4

Hampstead &Westminster 1

HAMPSTEAD & Westminster lost their English League premier division opener at champions Reading on Sunday.

The Paddington Rec-based club struggled for much of last season and expected a tough test against last season's top club. But they held their rivals until the closing minutes.

"It was always going to be tough," said Hampstead coach Soma Singh.

"We were looking for a performance to build on. At 1-1 with 15 minutes to go we looked as though we might get something out of it.

"But in the last seven minutes the game opened up when they scored and we were forced to search for an equaliser. While you are never satisfied with a loss it was a very solid performance."

The visitors began brightly and their work rate looked to have paid off until Reading grabbed the first half's only goal just before the break.

But Will Naylor kept Hampstead in it when he levelled in the 50th minute.

Then, the Paddington Rec outfit rode their luck when goal keeper Matt Simpkins saved a penalty minutes later.

Hampstead continued to rebuff the champions but were unable to repel the visitors as the game came to a close, conceding a 65th minute goal.

The visitors were then forced to chase the game and swiftly paid the price when Reading added two goals in the closing minutes.

Hampstead have a busy weekend at Paddington Rec. On Saturday they welcome Havant in the league and on Sunday play Surbiton in the EHA Cup.

Hampstead squad: McCray, Simkins, Leadbetter, Bevan, Perry, Van Greenigign, Smith, Hussain, Williamson, Little, Holt, Naylor

l WEST Hampstead, who narrowly missed promotion to the first division of the South League last season open their new campaign at Wycombe on Saturday.

Last season West needed to win their last game against Banbury to clinch promotion for the first time in the club's history, but they went down 1-0.

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