Promotion-chasing Bicester battle to win

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BICESTER Men’s first team made a superb start to the second half of the season by overcoming third-placed Wokingham 4-3 in Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Division One.

Bicester travelled to Wokingham in search of a much-needed win to keep up the pressure on the leaders in their quest for promotion but they came up against a strong side in what was an entertaining encounter.

The visitors made a lively start and played some attractive hockey with swift interchanges between the midfield and forward line.

Luke Smith, Stu Locke and Adam Buxey ran tirelessly upfront to put the home side under constant pressure – and it soon led to the opening goal.

Stu Moore created the goal when he brilliantly tackled a home defender on the halfway line before releasing Jonny Reid, who found space in the D to turn and stroke clinically into the bottom of the goal with a reverse-stick shot.

Bicester maintained their high level of play and were quickly rewarded with a second goal as some fine midfield tackling from Brown released Reid and he found the onrushing Adam Drewitt in the D who calmly finished low into the corner for a 2-0 lead at half time.

In the second half, Wokingham regrouped and wasted little time in scoring to halve the deficit.

However, Bicester’s two-goal cushion was restored soon after when CJ Birtles cleared from the back to find Smith, who won a short-corner from which Reid dispatched with a powerful strike.

Coming under pressure, Bicester then capitulated and crumbled to concede two goals in quick succession to bring the scores level heading into the final few minutes.

But the visitors showed tremendous spirit to fightback and stole victory when strong tackling from Mike Cupper and some fine passing found Reid in space on the right side and his miss hit shot found Buxey who lifted over the goalkeeper to give Bicester all three points.