AS expected, Reading City have avoided relegation from the Hellenic League Premier Division despite finishing second from bottom.

That's the good news.

But the not so good news is they are going to have to do more travelling than ever before.

Following promotion and relegation and the Football Association's allocation of clubs, the Premier Division has lost Wantage United, to the Southern League Central, Abingdon United to Hellenic Division One East and Ascot United, who have switched to the Combined Counties League.

Replacing them whilst also filling the vacancy left by the withdrawal of Oxford City Nomads are Burnham, Easington Sports (Banbury), Chipping Sodbury and Westfields (Hereford).

And that is a massive difference in travelling, both in terms of mileage and time spent on the road.

My swift calculations indicates driving to the four clubs will add more than 360 miles to the round trips from Scours Lane.

That just applies to league games and there is, of course, the League Cup and Floodlit Cup to take into consideration as well.

Teams like Burnham, Flackwell Heath, Holmer Green, Windsor and Virginia Water are going to face even longer journeys than Reading City, all adding to the financial burden on the clubs.

Ascot United must be delighted they have been moved to the Combined Counties League.

JUST a handful of the hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers involved in sport receive the recognition they deserve. So it was pleasing to see Reading Rugby Club reward hard-working volunteer Donna Clark with the club's 'Hons Cap' at their annual meeting.

Last week, I spent an enjoyable afternoon at Sand Martins Golf Club with the Mayor of Wokingham Borough, Cllr John Kaiser and, as we watched several club members assisting 80 local school children, he remarked: "Volunteers are the glue which keeps the community together. Without them, it would be a smaller place."

I totally agree.

FINALLY, a big apology to referee Geoff Pithers for spelling his name wrong in this column last week. No doubt he will show me a yellow card next time I see him.