Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Bell at the double as Town secure Division 1 East title

READING’S direct of football, Nick Hammond, has paid tribute to the six first team players that will be leaving Madejski

READING’S direct of football, Nick Hammond, has paid tribute to the six first team players that will be leaving Madejski Stadium this summer.

Noel Hunt, Ian Harte, Nicky Shorey, Simon Church, Jay Tabb and Joseph Mills will all be moving on after not having their contract renewed.

Mills has been at Burnley on a season-long loan, and under the terms of last summer’s agreement with the Clarets he has triggered an automatic transfer to Turf Moor.

Hammond said: “Every one of the players leaving this summer has played in a part in the club’s recent success and on behalf of the club I would like to wish them all well for the future.

“Both on and off the pitch they have shown great professionalism, set excellent examples to our young players and contributed massively to the team.

“Now both they and the club move to the next stage of their futures and the players will be welcome back at Madejski Stadium any time.”

Speaking regarding Alex Pearce, whose contract is due to expire in the coming months, Hammond said: “We have been speaking to him with regards to his contract throughout the season.

“Unfortunately, up until this point we have not managed to find a deal which is mutually acceptable to both parties.

“I am keen however, now the season has finished, to have a further conversation with Alex and his representatives to understand his thoughts and give him the club’s final position.”

The club are also in discussions with goalkeepers Stuart Taylor and Jonathan Henly, midfielder Lawson D’Ath and young defenders Nick Arnold, Shane Griffin and Matt Partridge about new contracts.

Youngsters Angus MacDonald, Charlie Losasso, Josh Webb and Brett Williams are also all moving on. Hammond added: “Our young players have an excellent grounding here and a good opportunity to continue their careers elsewhere. We’ll be doing all we can to help them at the next stage of their development and they all move on with our best wishes.”

On the international front, goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was an unused substitute in England’s ?? win over the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday. McCarthy will now travel with the England squad for their friendly against Brazil tomorrow (Saturday).

Looking ahead to next season, which kicks off on August 3, Reading have announced their first pre-season friendly.

Reading will take on Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park on Saturday, July 13 (kick-off 3pm).

PREMIER Division winners EMMER GREEN ended their season with a 2-2 draw at home to RUSCOMBE.

Strikes from Kieren Chard and Tom Basketfield saw KIDMORE END come from behind to clinch victory and seal sixth place at SOUTHBANK.

Kidmore, who for much of the season had been in the bottom three, have lost just once in their last eight matches, which has propelled them up the league.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start with goalkeeper Simon Switala substituted after just two minutes after being knocked unconscious following a collision with the Southbank forward.

After conceding early in the first half from a set piece, Kidmore sprang into life early in the second half, with Chard scoring a fine individual goal, beating two players before smashing home from 15 yards.

Soon after Tom Basketfield saw his cross-cum-shot bounce past the despairing Southbank goalkeeper to take the lead. HENLEY TOWN wrapped up the Division 1 East title after winning 3-1 against AFC SOUTHFIELD at Upper Basildon.

Needing a point to assure themselves of the title, Henley got off to an anxious start before Ollie Maskell calmed their nerves with a goal on the quarter-hour.

Sam Bell soon doubled the lead before Southfield pulled a goal back after 25 minutes. Henley hit back instantly and went straight to the other end, where Bell restored their two-goal advantage.

There was still more than an hour left to play, but, though Henley twice hit the woodwork in the second half and Southfield produced a number of good moves, neither side could add to the score.

CHECKENDON, who had already secured promotion from Division 2 West, thrashed TRENTONIANS 13-0 to take their league goal tally to 98 for the season.

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