Bicester men lose out to league tabletoppers

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Gerrards Cross Men’s 1sts 4 Bicester Men’s 1sts 1

Bicester travelled to top of the table Gerrards Cross and despite leading 1-0 for the majority of the game were unfortunately overpowered by a strong attacking performance from the Bucks tabletoppers who scored four goals in the second half to record a flattering victory.

Bicester started well and soon were a goal to the good after a superb ball from Stu Goodacre found Jonny Reid on the right who beat a couple of defenders before crossing to Harry Gaunt who, with great composure, took a touch to steady himself, before flicking the ball above the keeper and into the net.

The second half saw Gerrards Cross come out strongly, with the defence performing admirably. Sullivan, Round, Birtles and Southam stayed resolute despite increasing pressure with Adam Buxey, Chris Ruff, Roy Carter and Luke Smith helping to relieve the pressure in the midfield with a great deal of running and tracking.

The increased pressure soon led to a goal for Gerrards Cross and they were quickly two goals to the good.

With five minutes to play, Bicester took off their outstanding goalkeeper Peter Bowen, who had played the game of his life up to this point, to give Bicester a man advantage but the risk did not pay off and Gerrards managed to score twice in the last few minutes into an empty net.

The scoreline flattered Gerrards Cross although they did deserve to win and Bicester will now go on into some mid-table clashes, encouraged by their first half performance, but knowing they have much to work on.

Pete Bowen picked up the man-of-the-match award for a series of superb saves for Bicester until his departure.

Maidenhead Ladies 3rds 2

Bicester Ladies 1sts 4

Away to bottom of the table Maidenhead, Bicester were conscious they would have to work hard to earn points in this game as the home team resolved to raise themselves from their relegation position.

The game was a scrappy one and the Bicester forwards were jostled and hassled by the Maidenhead defence to the extent they had little time to settle on the ball and form any meaningful passage of play.

Maidenhead played much better than their league position suggested and possession was equal between the teams for the first 20 minutes. Bicester were first to make an attack count when Maidenhead were unable to clear a loose ball in their D and leading striker Kath Crook struck a soft shot that took a slight deflection off a defender and into the net.

The lead raised Bicester’s spirit and they continued to persevere in attack.

A wonderful drive from “dame of the game” Gina Girvan, cutting through the Maidenhead midfield, ended with her smashing a shot towards the goal and captain Lilla Venning was on hand to tip the ball into the roof of the net to double the lead. Some excellent defending from Lisa Ryan and goalkeeper Jo Underhill kept the score line the same until the break as Underhill made a sliding save and Ryan cleared off the line from a strong Maidenhead attack.

Maidenhead managed to pull a goal back just after the half time break as their centre forward managed to round the defence and slot home. This kick started a response from Bicester and Ryan spanned three quarters of the pitch with an inch perfect pass to Venning who was waiting in the opposition D. Venning won a penalty corner and on receiving the initial pass, converted with a straight strike into the bottom left corner.

The fourth goal was also initiated in defence when Laura Pickering drove a sideline pass down the wing to Venning, who crossed to Ella Weston at the top of the D. Weston drove diagonally towards the byline to lose her defender and scored at the near post, with the Maidenhead keeper unable to respond in time.

Maidenhead responded with a second goal but there was little time to stage a fight back and Bicester were pleased to hold on to the 4-2 score line. Bicester remain joint top of Trysports Premier 2 on equal points and goal difference with South Bucks, but with more goals scored.