[img_assist|nid=8648|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=40]Bottom of the table Loughborough Students gave high-flying Reading a scare in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, the Berkshire side having to battle for a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Reading were welcome of the win which was their first in three matches, and it came following goals from Tom Carson and Chris Newman, 9 and 43 minutes respectively.
Loughborough halved the deficit when Ian Sloan scored from open play after 49 minutes, but Reading held on for the win despite the Students’ best efforts.
Two goals from Alan Forsyth – the last of which came two minutes from the end – helped Surbiton salvage a point from a 2-2 draw at East Grinstead.
After Glenn Kirkham had given the hosts the lead on 15 minutes, Forsyth struck first on 21 minutes. Tim Deakin retook the lead with a 27th minute goal, but Forsyth’s late equaliser ensured the points were shared.
Elsewhere, a second half goal from Sam Ward helped leaders Beeston win at Cannock, but like Reading they were given a rough ride by their hosts who lie eighth in the table.
Hampstead and Westminster secured their first victory in more than a month when they won 2-1 at home against Canterbury.
The Kent side led 1-0 at the break with Mickel Pierre scoring from a tenth minute penalty corner, but Hampstead pulled level with a goal from Oliver Didham on 44 minutes, and they snatched victory in the final minute through Neil Hamilton.
Two early goals from Ali Brogdon proved enough Wimbledon to beat fellow Premier Division newcomers Sheffield Hallam 2-1 in Yorkshire. Gavin Byers scored for the home side after eight minutes.
Beeston hold first place in the premier division with nine wins from nine. East Grinstead and Reading are second and third on 20 points. Surbiton are fourth on 15 points.
University of Durham lost the lead in the NOW: Pensions Conference North when they threw away a 2-0 half time lead and ended up losing 3-4 to Bowdon, who move up to third in the table. Their goals came from David Egerton (2), Bart Zywiczka and Tom Ainsworth.
Brooklands Manchester University are the new leaders following their 5-1 win over West Bridgford, with Peter Friend scoring a hat-trick.
Teddington made it eight matches unbeaten when they won 3-0 at home against Old Loughtonians in the NOW: Pensions Conference East, while leaders Southgate won 5-2 over Bromley and Beckenham.
And Team Bath Buccaneers secured a 2-4 away win at Guildford to maintain top spot in the NOW: Pensions Conference West. Second-placed Cardiff & Met also won, 4-1 over Havant.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 16 2013):
NOW: Pensions Premier Division: Cannock 0, Beeston 1; East Grinstead 2, Surbiton 2; Hampstead and Westminster 2, Canterbury 1; Loughborough Students 1, Reading 2; Sheffield Hallam 1, Wimbledon 2.
NOW: Pensions Conference East: Brighton and Hove 1, Oxted 4; Cambridge City 8, St. Albans 1; Holcombe 5, Richmond 0; Southgate 5, Bromley and Beckenham 2; Teddington 3, Old Loughtonians 0.
NOW: Pensions Conference North: Brooklands MU 5, West Bridgford 1; Khalsa (Warks) 2, Belper 1; Olton & West Warwicks 3, Deeside Ramblers 4; University of Durham 3, Bowdon 4; Wakefield 2, Leek 0.
NOW: Pensions Conference West: Cardiff & Met 4, Havant 1; Cheltenham 2, Indian Gymkhana 3; Fareham 2, Isca 2; Guildford 2, Team Bath Buccaneers 4; University of Exeter 1, University of Birmingham 2.