Ladies suffer surprise defeat at Reading side

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Reading Ladies 2A 4

Bicester Ladies 1sts 3

League leaders Bicester suffered their first league defeat in 18 months at Reading but remained top of the league. Within ten minutes, Bicester were 2-0 down having been on the receiving end of some very accomplished penalty corner routines in which Reading simply picked the gaps and scored with pinpoint precision.

Bicester were still able to pull a goal back with an individual bit of skill from Kath Crook. A side-line hit from Amy Richardson hugged the line and found Crook on the half way line. She was able to spin past her defender and use her speed to beat the other Reading defenders who tried to cover. The magnificent solo effort was complete as she whipped the ball round the keeper, restoring some self belief to the side.

Bicester conceded another prior to half time from a converted penalty corner and found themselves in the unfamiliar territory of being 3-1 down at the break.

Bicester scored their second when Hannah Newell sent a pass to Venning which sliced through the Reading defenders and one on-one with the keeper, Venning kept her cool and found the goal. Bicester heads went up and they defended well, giving Reading no opportunities to attack. Reading succumbed slightly to the pressure and a poor hit out from their D was intercepted well by Jan Southam who controlled the ball and passed a square ball to Crook. The scores were levelled as Crook beat the keeper with ease.

It wasn’t long until Reading attacked and were awarded another penalty corner for a stick tackle against them in the D. Their well rehearsed routine allowed Reading to score again, but with ten minutes left to play Bicester were unable to score again, despite some attacking play. The result left Bicester disappointed.

Fortunately, league results worked in Bicester’s favour as second-placed South Bucks drew, leaving Bicester two points clear at the top of Trysports League Premier 2.

Bicester Ladies 3rds 0

Henley Ladies 4thsl 1

Bicester hosted Henley Ladies on Saturday at Cooper School and were looking forward to a competitive match. Bicester started slowly and with some disappointment allowed Henley to score early on in the first half.

However Bicester rallied themselves, putting in stirling performance at the back, with Rachel Long, Harrie Whitfield and Gemma Perkins working together to close down the middle, while Sarah Cousins and Luci Bywater held Henley’s wing players at bay.

After encouragement from their coach at half time, Bicester returned with much determination to try and level the score, and despite some cracking crosses from Charlotte Chewsworth-Wing across the box Bicester were unlucky to not score. But, with 10 U16’s in the squad the Ladies 3rda are looking forward to more tough matches throughout the season and will be hoping to make the honours even on the return to Henley in the new year.

Bicester Men’s 1sts 2

Ashford Men’s 2nds 0

Bicester bounced back from last week’s trouncing with a solid win against Ashford 2nds at home.

The first half saw chances for Bicester but no goals scored as it ended in deadlock.

The second half started with a bang as a short corner was won and well put away, with Dobbings drilling the ball to the back post for Luke Smith to deflect into the net. Peter Bowen was still untroubled in the Bicester goal as his defence marked well with John Sullivan returning after a few weeks and producing a tidy performance. Adam Buxey went close when a swift counter-attack found him at the top of the D with the goalkeeper doing well to protect his side going two goals down.

He was powerless to stop the next attack though as Snell intercepted from a free-hit deep in the Ashford half, beat the defender and drew the goalkeeper, allowing Harry Gaunt to apply the finish at the back post to give Bicester a bit of cushion.

Chances then continued to come with Chris Ruff rocketing a shot into the side-netting, Reid wasting a good opportunity and Buxey having another good chance at the back post, as Bicester plotted another goal.

But the game finished 2-0 with Bicester looking forward to another three points at Milton Keynes this weekend.