READING hammered East Grinstead 6-1 at Sonning Lane in the rain on Saturday and head coach Jason Lee believes his side can even get better, writes Dave Wright.

“It was our biggest result, but it wasn’t our best performance,” admitted the ex-England manager.

“We have played well on other occasions, but just not had the rub of the green or been able to score many goals, so were pleased to see things starting to come together this evening.

“I think we played better last week at Surbiton even though we lost (5-3). Some of the goals we let in were due to little mistakes that hopefully we won’t make again.

"In terms of our best performance, it wasn’t today because I think we can still play a lot better.

“We are still a little bit disjointed and we had to defend deep. Some of their (East Grinstead) counter-attacks got far too far as they went all the way into our circle, and at times we had to run too hard to cover gaps. It would be nice to stop that by collective positioning.”

The Blues’ defence were caught cold inside the opening two minutes, allowing Tijn van Groesen to open the scoring.

But the response was immediate, with Ben Boon driving behind the visitors’ defence before crossing for Dan Shingles to turn home from close range for the equaliser.

After home keeper Tommy Alexander had turned aside a low shot following a penalty corner, Blues took the lead with a well-worked corner finished off by Duncan Riddell on 20 minutes.

They varied the routine in the 31st minute, but it was the same end product with Tom Carson supplying the finishing touch for a 3-1 lead.

Reading Chronicle:

Reading's Tom Carson, right.

Eight minutes into the second half the Blues added a fourth, Stuart Loughrey powering down the right and crossing for Boon to brilliantly turn home.

The fifth goal was equally as outstanding, with Lee Morton striking a long diagonal pass from wide out on the right into the inside-left channel for Boon to take in his stride and fire past Paddy Smith for his eighth goal of the season.

Reading, who were missing their four Wales internationals, completed an impressive performance when skipper Tom Carson converted a penalty corner just after the hour mark.

Their fifth win in nine games lifts the Blues into fourth place ahead of their visit to the fifth club, Holcombe, on Saturday (6pm push-back), their last league game before the winter break. Lee’s men will be seeking revenge for the 2-1 defeat at Sonning Lane last month.

He said: “We played well that day and so we are targeting a win this time and show them we are a decent team.”

Reading Women

Reading Women suffered their first defeat of the season in the Investec League Conference West when losing 2-1 at Stourport on Saturday.

They conceded penalty-corner goals to Hannah Corcoran in the ninth minute and Claire Pearson after 42 minutes with Keelie Perham pulling one back on 49 minutes. It was her sixth goal in nine games.

After just one week at the top, Reading slip to second place behind Trojans ahead of their big clash at Eastleigh on Saturday (12 noon push-back).

Blues were the first team to beat Trojans last month when captain Emma Thomas netted the only goal of the game.