Surbiton Men, in a tense battle with London rivals Hampstead & Westminster for top spot in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, visit Reading for a Saturday evening match  (push back 6.30 pm).

The game will be played at Sonning Lane, Reading RG4 6ST.

When the teams met at Sugden Road back in October, Surbiton won 6-2 to move up to second behind leaders Hampstead & Westminster, who replaced previous leaders Holcombe after the Kent club’s 1-0 defeat to East Grinstead ended a run of four straight wins to open the season.

Reading have spent most of the season in sixth place, reaching a high of fifth place with a 3-1 home win over East Grinstead in October and dropped to seventh last week after a second consecutive 3-0 defeat at Wimbledon after going down by the same score at Hampstead the week before.

Reading’s season started with a home game against Hampstead, the visitors winning 2-1, before Brooklands Manchester University were beaten 4-3 at Sonning Lane. Reading’s first away match ended in a 5-0 loss at Holcombe and the Surbiton defeat came in their second away game of the season.

Reading then had an unbeaten run of four games with a 1-0 home win over Wimbledon; a goalless draw at Sevenoaks; a 4-2 home win over the University of Exeter and 1-1 draw at Beeston.

Brooklands Manchester University gained revenge for their earlier defeat with a 2-1 home win, but a 3-2 home win over Sevenoaks have been followed by those two 3-0 away defeats.

Lee Morton is Reading’s leading goalscorer with four goals and Matt Richards, Jatinder Bachu and Charlie Ellison have all scored three goals. Ciaran O’Connell has found the target twice this season with the other five goals shared between Sam Armitage, Jack Clee, Max Heaver, Liam Sanford and Peter Scott.

With the entire MHL programme scheduled for Saturday, Hampstead are at Holcombe; Beeston host East Grinstead; Brooklands Manchester University entertain the University of Exeter and Sevenoaks are at home to Wimbledon in the top flight’s other four games.