MATT Richards scored twice as Reading came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw in their Premier Division match at East Grinstead on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

They looked to be heading for their fourth successive defeat when they trailed to a Rob Cope goal after 20 minutes.

The Blues made adjustments to their shape at half-time, but still fell further behind in the 47th minute, Simon Faulkner scoring from a penalty corner.

But as team manager Tim Hamilton later commented: "The disappointment of going 2-0 down seemed to galvanise the side and a fighting spirit which has often been lacking this season came to the fore."

He added: "Some interesting umpiring calls seemed to disrupt the flow of the game, with both sides reduced in numbers at times, but we seemed to react best to the scrappy nature of the game."

A period of sustained pressure led to a brace from Richards, a field goal in the 49th minute and a 56th-minute penalty stroke following an incisive carry from Max Heaver.

The final 10 minutes descended into a very chaotic affair, with Reading down to nine men at one point and EG finishing the game with 10.

Hamilton added: "All in all, it felt like a point gained for us rather than two points dropped and keeps alive our outside chance of making the play-offs."

This coming Sunday, the Blues take on third-placed Beeston at Sonning Lane (2.30pm).

Reading women also had to be content with a point last weekend, drawing 1-1 at Barnes.

They went a goal down three minutes before half-time to a Sophie Hawkins stroke and there were just two minutes of the game remaining when Jo Ellis fired home the equaliser. It was the player-coach's eighth league goal of the season.

Her side remain sixth in Conference West with three fixtures to go, the first of which is at home to third-placed Olton & West Warwicks this Saturday (4.30pm).

Reading Rustlers have qualified for the final of England Hockey's Over-50 men's Tier 1 Championship after defeating Sevenoaks 6-1thanks to a well-organised display which saw four of their goals coming in the second half last Sunday.

They will play Stourport in the final on May 6 when they will be looking to win the trophy they last lifted in 2017.