Reading Hockey Club 5-0 Canterbury Hockey Club
Reading Hockey Club 5-0 Canterbury Hockey Club

Canterbury were hosted by Reading HC on Sunday 1st October. The boys in red and white (for a change) were looking to bounce back from their previous game and kick start their campaign properly.Reading, sporting a number of new signings, started the game with a high tempo causing the Canterbury midfield all sorts of problems. At times, it seemed like Reading had an extra player, so fluid and convincing were their counter attacks.

However, Canterbury defended well and started to get a grip on the game, edging over the halfway and into the opposition 23 with good build up play, some fancy hands out of the back by German full back Dan and some good overlapping runs from the midfield. Unfortunately, circle penetrations eluded the green (red) and white and turnovers turned into aggressive and high paced counters by Reading.

On the 18th minute Reading won and converted a penalty corner. Canterbury, prepared for the fancy tricks and fakes still couldn’t keep this one out. One-nil down and with all to play for Canterbury started applying a bit more pressure. Player/coach Craig Boyne’s movement and leading wasn’t always rewarded, but when it was he caused the Reading defence some trouble, creating spaces for Harry Roberts to play in, a corner was won, but the Reading keeper pulled off a good save stick side.

Canterbury continued to play, but were slow to react to turnovers, whenever Reading won the ball they stormed forward often leaving the Canterbury defence with a 3v1 to deal with. After some sustained pressure, Reading scored again on the 23rd minute thanks to Ben Boon. More pressure led to more attempts on goal and eventually a penalty corner – courtesy of a blatant shove in the back from Adam Price. Reading stepped up only to be foiled by a great save by Nathan Redman (who had already pulled off a string of fine saves)

Going into half time at 2-0 down was perhaps fortunate for Canterbury. After words from the coaching team, Canterbury came out to turn the game around. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Poor defending starting from the forward line, had a domino effect on too many occasions. Poor reaction time and never really competing for 50/50s and loose balls meant Reading were in the ascendancy from the very start of the second period. There were still some breakaway moments for Canterbury, but Reading seemed to smother any danger with ease.

The dominance continued with goals from Park on the 58th minute from yet another counter, Morton on 60 again from a counter again and from Carson just before the final whistle, coming from an ill-timed attempted aerial.

Reading emerged 5-0 winners and Canterbury were left stunned and thinking about a big performance against Brooklands.