Beeston and Reading draw after missed stroke

[img_assist|nid=8648|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=40]Beeston missed out on victory over Reading in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey Premier Division after Sam Ward saw a 65th minute penalty stroke saved by Reading keeper James Bailey.

It was a close-fought game between the sides sitting first and third in the table and it was the underdogs who opened the scoring after 11 minutes through Richard Mantell.

Mo Ghandi equalised for the league leaders just before the break, finding the target from open play. Andy Watts put Reading back into the lead but saw his strike cancelled out by Gordon McIntyre just a minute later.

Then, with five minutes remaining, Beeston were presented with a golden chance to snatch a winner but Ward’s shot was saved by Bailey. This is the second week in a row that Beeston have failed to win, following on from a winning streak of nine games.

East Grinstead are now only two points behind Beeston and they underlined their goal scoring prowess with a 7-4 win over Canterbury. Mark Gleghorne and Mark Pearn scored a brace each for the winners.

Sheffield Hallam are now bottom of the league after losing 8-1 to Surbiton. Hallam took an early lead and held on until the 32ndminute. But once Matt Daly got Surbiton off the mark, it was one-way traffic and Alan Forsyth scored a hat-trick.

Loughborough Students climbed off the bottom of the table with their second win of the season, a 2-1 victory over Hampstead and Westminster. Wimbledon beat Cannock 2-0 thanks to goals from John Harris and Johnny Kinder.

Peter Flanagan was in sensational form as Brooklands MU beat Khalsa 10-2. Flanagan scored five of the goals to reinforce his team’s position at the top of the NOW: Pension’s Conference North.

Tim Davenport was another goal hero – his hat-trick for Team Bath Buccaneers saw them beat Isca 4-0 and hold on to the lead in the NOW: Pensions Conference West.

Holcombe and Oxted faced each other on both Saturday and Sunday to make up for a game postponed earlier in the season. Holcombe won both matches, 9-2 on the Saturday and 6-2 on Sunday. They lead Southgate at the top of the NOW: Pensions Conference East on goal difference only.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, December 1 2013):

NOW: Pensions Premier Division: East Grinstead 7, Canterbury 4; Loughborough Students 2, Hampstead and Westminster 1; Reading 2, Beeston 2; Surbiton 8, Sheffield Hallam 1; Wimbledon 2, Cannock 0.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference East: Old Loughtonians 4, Cambridge City 2; Holcombe 6, Oxted 2; Richmond 3, Teddington 1; Southgate 1, Brighton and Hove 0; St. Albans 1, Bromley and Beckenham 2.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference North: Belper 1, Olton & West Warwicks 2; Bowdon 3, Deeside Ramblers 0; Brooklands MU 10, Khalsa (Warks) 2; Holcombe 6, Oxted 2; University of Durham 6, Wakefield 1; West Bridgford 1, Leek 4.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference West: Cheltenham 2, Havant 2; Fareham 0, Guildford 2; Team Bath Buccaneers 4, Isca 0; University of Birmingham 0, Indian Gymkhana 2; University of Exeter 2, Cardiff & Met 1.