[img_assist|nid=8648|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=40]Simon Mantell hit four second-half goals to inspire Reading to a comeback against East Grinstead in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey Premier Division.
The visitors were two-up by half time through an own goal and a Mark Pearn strike.
Pearn made it three in the 42nd minute before Simon Mantell opened his account. He scored his first on 48 minutes before adding a second just a minute later.
Then, on 53 minutes, he completed his hat-trick before putting Reading into the lead with his fourth on 63 minutes.
The game looked to have been snatched from East Grinstead but a Wes Jackson strike five minutes from time saw them take a share of the spoils in a thrilling encounter.
While Reading and East Grinstead battle it out for second place, Beeston continue their imperious run and now have eight wins from eight games.
But it was far from easy for the table toppers. Loughborough Students were their opponents this week and in stark contrast, they sit bottom of the league with just one win so far.
Goals from Adam Dixon and Sam Ward had put Beeston into a two-goal lead but Ian Sloan and then Chris Griffiths struck back for Loughborough to level the scores. However, quality told in the end and Sam Ward’s second goal on 64 minutes secured all three points.
The draw between East Grinstead and Reading allowed Surbiton to gain some ground but despite their 4-1 win over Cannock, they’re still in fourth place.
James Royce, Scott Evans, James Gall and Matt Daly were on target for them with Nick Bandurak slotting in a consolation for Cannock.
Canterbury also hit four as they beat Sheffield Hallam. Andrew Dunn, Ben Allberry, Mickel Pierre and Liam Foster had sewn the game up inside the hour. Sheffield Hallam won a penalty stroke with two minutes left but it wasn’t their day and Gareth Furlong saw his effort saved.
Former Sheffield Hallam man Phil Roper grabbed a brace for Wimbledon as his side also won 4-0. Chris Gregg and Jon Kinder were also on target against opponents Hampstead and Westminster.
In the NOW: Pensions Conference East, Richard Lane was the key man for Holcombe as he scored four in their 9-0 defeat of St Albans. Gareth Carr and James Stedman scored two each and Danny Hall hit the other. They are three points behind Southgate but have a game in hand.
A double from Matt Murphy secured yet another win for University of Durham in the NOW: Pensions Conference North. Charlie Stubbings scored the other goal in the 3-2 defeat of Deeside Ramblers.
Team Bath Buccaneers maintained their slender lead at the top of the NOW: Pensions Conference West with a 1-0 win over Cheltenham. Tim Davenport’s goal means that they stay one point ahead of Cardiff.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Premier Division: Beeston 3, Loughborough Students 2; Canterbury 4, Sheffield Hallam 0; Reading 4, East Grinstead 4; Surbiton 4, Cannock 1; Wimbledon 4, Hampstead and Westminster 0.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 2, Brighton and Hove 0; Old Loughtonians 1, Southgate 3; Richmond 2, Cambridge City 3; St. Albans 0, Holcombe 9. Sat: Oxted 3, Teddington 3.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference North: Belper 2, Wakefield 5; Bowdon 1, Brooklands MU 2; Deeside Ramblers 2, University of Durham 3; Leek 0, Khalsa (Warks) 0; West Bridgford 3, Olton & West Warwicks 4.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference West: Havant 1, University of Exeter 2; Indian Gymkhana 3, Guildford 2; Isca 2, Cardiff & Met 3; Team Bath Buccaneers 1, Cheltenham 0; University of Birmingham 2, Fareham 2.