READING men have just moved past the 500-fixtures mark in England Hockey's top division, but it is taking a lot longer than expected to notch up win number 302, writes Dave Wright.

The Blues have now gone eight games without a victory, their latest defeat coming on Saturday when they went down 3-1 at home to East Grinstead.

They fell behind after just two minutes to a goal from Luke Emmett, and Simon Faulkner doubled the visitors' advantage with a penalty stroke three minutes before half-time.

Ireland international Stuart Loughrey pulled a goal back in the 53rd minute from a penalty corner, but the home side's hopes of getting on level terms ended when Liam Ansell added Grinstead's third goal after 61 minutes.

Reading, who have promoted 2nd and 3rd XI player Harrison Smith to their squad, remain at the foot of the table with two points ahead of their visit to fourth-bottom Brooklands Manchester University on Sunday (12.15pm).

Unbeaten Reading 2nds remain four points clear at the top of the MBBO Regional One table following a 3-2 win over Amersham & Chalfont, with Jamie Rawlings (2) and Jatinder Bachu getting the goals.

Reading 3rds are in eighth place after drawing 3-3 away to Oxford University 2nds with Sam Howells, Huw Kimber and Ted Warren all on target.

Reading women were held to a 1-1 draw by Sevenoaks at Sonning Lane on Saturday, the first points Division One South points they have dropped at home this season.

They fell behind to Jen Wilson's penalty-corner goal after 51 minutes, but it took them just four minutes to pull level through player-coach Jo Ellis, both scorers taking their personal tally to five this season.

Blues remain second in the table, but have now fallen five points behind a Wimbledon side boasting a 100 per cent record after six games.

Reading will be seeking a double this Saturday (12.15pm) when they visit sixth-placed Slough, having won the home encounter 1-0 in September.

The club's 2nds drew 2-2 at Tulse Hill and Dulwich in Division One of the South Clubs League.

SONNING men stay top of MBBO Regional Two, albeit now on goal difference with South Berkshire, after being held to a 4-4 draw by Marlow 2nds. Their goals came from Nick Leach, who now has eight for the season, Ian Finlayson, James Manser and Jon Sharp.

They are home to Oxford 2nds this Saturday (12pm).

In MBBO Division One, Steve Crowther netted a hat-trick for Sonning 2nds, but it wasn't enough as they lost 6-4 to Phoenix & Ranelagh. Their other goal came from Colm Hanlon, while the visitors' marksmen were Phil Browne (3), Callum Willis (2) and Jonathan Coy.

Sonning ladies lost 1-0 at home to Hampstead and Westminster 3rds in Division 3a of the South Clubs League and slip to fourth in the table ahead of their visit to Wycombe this Saturday.

The 2nds hammered Marlow 3rds 4-0 at home to stay top of Trysports Three Counties League Premier Division Two with an unbeaten seven-game record.