Bicester turn tables to keep up pressure

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Bicester Ladies 1sts 3 - Reading Ladies 2A 1

Bicester returned from a two week break due to frozen pitches to play Reading, one of only two teams in the league to have beaten them.

The away fixture had seen Reading try to disrupt Bicester and they had also been ruthless in front of goal, so a tough test was expected and Captain Lilla Venning demanded the team take the game to Reading from the very start.

Reading appeared to have a similar game plan and appeared determined to break down any passage of play that the home team put together. Bicester were a little rusty, but fought hard to retain possession and during the first half edged the percentage of possession. Dame of the Game, Lisa Ryan, controlled well from the centre of defence and steadied Bicester in front of their own goal, as well as releasing the ball to the forwards where Venning, Kath Crook and Ella Weston used pace and skill to run at Reading.

The deadlock was broken midway through the first half when Weston drove down the right, with her defender unable to match her speed. With a trademark strike from the tightest of angles, close to the goal line, she slammed home past the keeper at her near post.

Further goals came during the second half when Jan Southam controlled beautifully to take the ball past two Reading defenders and slotted a sweet pass through to Crook, who spun round her own marker and scored in the bottom left corner.

Bicester were buoyant and Reading seemingly had little left in the tank. Bicester continued to press and Weston and Southam played several passes between themselves on the right wing, to deceive their defenders, then passed the ball via Ryan to Crook who pounced to score her second, taking Bicester to 3-0 up. Reading managed to grab a consolation goal through a penalty corner with a superb dipping strike, but the home side remain second in Trysports Premier 2.

Bicester mixed 11 6

Great Milton mixed 11 2

Bicester mixed put in a polished and clinical performance against Great Milton. The game started well when Stuart Goodacre’s super pass found Pete Cross for a simple tap in. Great Milton responded with a goal of their own but Bicester pushed and two short corner conversions gave goals to Gina Girvan and Amy Richardson.

After half time a nice pass from Richardson gave captain Luke Smith his first goal. Midfield work from John and Stacy Roger provided Chris Birch plenty to work with and turned provider for Girvan to score her second. Smith finished the scoring with an uncharacteristic chip over an on rushing keeper. Man of the match was defender Amy Olah for a solid and mature performance.

Ashford M2s 4

Bicester M1s 2

Bicester Mens 1s travelled to Ashford on Saturday looking to run out the rust that would have gathered after a three week weather enforced break.

Both teams showed their lack of recent match practice in the first half as a scrappy affair was played out with chances few and far between. Bicester did however find a few openings and Roy Carter was unlucky not to score at the back post following a good block from the Ashford defender.

The second half was a more lively affair though with a penalty stroke being awarded to Ashford within the first 10 minutes for a deliberate back stick. A poor penalty saw Peter Bowen pull off a save and this kicked Bicester into life. A good passing move found Jonny Reid on the left hand side of the D, where a darting run and reverse stick cross was deflected by the Ashford defender into their goal to make it 1-0. They were soon two goals to the good after some good work down the right by Reid won Bicester a short corner which Roy Carter dispatched with aplomb. A lack of match fitness started to show though and Bicester allowed Ashford to get a goal back before a yellow card for Bicester saw them reduced to 10 men and fighting against it for the next 10 minutes. Ashford duly made use of the extra man and scored two goals in quick succession to take the lead, before putting another goal in near the final whistle to make it look more convincing than it was. Adam Buxey had a good game in the centre of the pitch to take Bicester’s man of the match award and they now play high-flying MK next week at Bicester.