Bottom of the table Reading play host to second-bottom Slough on Sunday, as both teams’ bid for top flight survival reaches a crucial stage in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.
Slough’s only win in the league came from a 4-3 win over Bowdon Hightown, while Reading’s only point came from a draw – also against Bowdon Hightown.
“It hasn’t been a great start for us,” said Reading official Sue Newman. “We’re feeling the loss of a number of personnel, and we have a young squad. But they’re playing really well.
“We’ve had a couple of 16-year-olds playing for us as well as a 15-year-old goalkeeper in Mila Welch, and the whole squad has done well. It’s a steep learning curve for them, and they have had a couple of games where they could easily have got a result.
“They play better with a good crowd, and it’s a home game as well as a double header with the men, so they will really be up for it.”
Elsewhere, leaders Surbiton head to Clifton Robinsons on Saturday as they bid to preserve their unbeaten form, while East Grinstead could go top if they win at Leicester and Surbiton lose.
Third-placed Holcombe play host to the University of Birmingham and they too could go top of the table if other results go in their favour. And Canterbury are hosting a Bowdon Hightown side who could overtake them if they win.
After suffering their first defeat in the Investec Women’s Conference East last weekend, leaders Sevenoaks play host to Southgate on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile Wimbledon – who are level on league points with Sevenoaks – are at home, with Harleston Magpies, winners over Sevenoaks last week, providing their opposition.
Bottom plays top in the Investec Conference North, with leaders Brooklands Poynton travelling to Belper for a match crucial to both side’s campaign.
Elsewhere, second-placed Beeston could go top if they win at Wakefield and Brooklands Poynton lose.
And in the Investec Conference West, leaders Stourport – who lost their first match of the league campaign last weekend – go to Exe. The team that beat Stourport, Buckingham go to Trojans as they target the top of the table.
* The above photo shows Reading in defensive action against Clifton last weekend.
FIXTURES – Saturday, November 19
Investec Women’s Hockey League
Investec Premier Division
Holcombe v University of Birmingham 12:00
Clifton Robinsons v Surbiton 13:00
Canterbury v Bowdon Hightown 14:00
Leicester v East Grinstead 14:00
Investec Conference East
St Albans v Chelmsford 13:00
Hampstead and Westminster v Cambridge City 13:30
West Herts v Northampton Saints 13:30
Wimbledon v Harleston Magpies 14:00
Sevenoaks v Southgate 17:00
Investec Conference North
University of Durham v Timperley 12:00
Loughborough Students v Sutton Coldfield 12:30
Liverpool Sefton v Ben Rhydding 12:30
Wakefield v Beeston 13:30
Belper v Brooklands Poynton 14:00
Investec Conference West
Swansea City v Oxford Hawks 12:00
Trojans v Buckingham 12:00
Olton and West Warwicks v Gloucester City 12:00
Bristol Firebrands v Isca 12:30
Exe v Stourport 13:00
FIXTURES – Sunday, November 20
Investec Premier Division
Reading v Slough 12:30
Report courtesy of England Hockey via Snowdon Sports