HOCKEY: Cresswell's late strike decisive for Oxford Hawks

Oxford Mail: Liam Frost (39) on target for Witney in their 5-1 win over Oxford 2nd Liam Frost (39) on target for Witney in their 5-1 win over Oxford 2nd

A LATE goal from Dave Cresswell gave relieved Oxford Hawks a tense 4-3 victory at home to Milton Keynes in Premier Division 1.

The hosts had led 3-1 at half-time, but the Bucks side hit back to level in the second half before Cresswell’s short- corner goal gave Hawks the points.

Hawks went ahead after Ric Corbett mis-trapped a cross, and then went on to fire the ball in on the volley. The visitors drew level with a scrambled goal.

A back-handed goal from Martin Pickup restored Hawks’ lead, while James Ward’s chest high cricket pull shot at the far post increased their advantage before the break.

Hawks could have sewn the match up at the start of the second half, but were denied by some good saves.

The hosts then lost their way, and despite some great tackling from Jack Biggs, Milton Keynes scored two goals in five minutes to make it 3-3.

Hawks were beginning to rock, but skipper Kieran Roche, leading from the front, steadied the ship. The pendulum swung back in Hawks’ direction and their improved passage of play was rewarded with Cresswell’s strike, which took the wind out of their opponents’ sails.

Andy Wynd scored twice as Oxford kept in touch with the leaders in Regional Division 1 with a 3-1 comeback victory over at home to Aylesbury.

The visitors took the lead with a neat reverse-stick shot past keeper Chris Mitty.

Oxford then began to dominate the possession and the Aylesbury keeper kept out efforts from Dan Bleach, Dan Smyth and Wynd.

Mark Carpenter eventually drew Oxford level, when he beat two men on the edge of the D before firing the ball on the half volley into the far corner of the net.

Oxford took the lead early in the second half when Kit Cutter’s first-time pass found Wynd in space to score.

Wynd was on target again five minutes later, firing in at the far post after another ball from Cutter across the D.

Cutter found himself on the sidelines after not retreating far enough from a quickly-taken free-hit, but Oxford’s ten men held on without undue alarm.

Pacesetting Oxford Hawks 2nd returned to winning ways when goals from Chris Burden (2), Joe Brownhill, Jamie Clark and David Gilbert gave them a 5-2 victory at Henley.

Witney went back to the top of Regional Division 2 with a superb 5-1 victory away to Oxford 2nd.

Liam Frost and BenWells both scored doubles for Witney, whose other strike came from Tim Hardy. Callum Mackenzie netted Oxford 2nd’s sole reply.

OTHER RESULTS.

SOUTH LEAGUE.

MBB&O Div 1: Oxford 3rd (R Harding 2) 2, Wokingham 3.

MBB&O Div 2: Oxford Hawks 3rd 4 (S Cox, A Spittles, N Monk, N Gallacher), Leighton Buzzard 1.

MBB&O Div 3: Eastcote 4th 4, Oxford 4th 2; Oxford 5th 0, Windsor 2.

MBB&O Div 4: Phoenix & R 2nd 2, Witney 2nd 8 (M Godwin 2, H Collins 2, J Dobbinson, K Dobbinson, T Yallop, S Summers).

Open Divs: Oxford Hawks 5th 2 (R Venables, A Bentley), Meadhurst 0; Oxford Hawks Senators 3, Reading Rustlers 5; Oxford 6th 3 (P Charrett, J Williams, I Horner), Witney 3rd 5 (N Vigar 2, S Hook, P Button, A Birnie); Oxford 7th 2 (M Neville, A Neville) 2, Eastcote 6th 0; Oxford 8th 2 (J Fisher, J Carr) 2, Oxford Hamsters 1 (A Harris); Witney 4th 0, West Hampstead 8th 6; Bicester 2nd 1 (J Rodger), Marlow 2nd 3: Chiswick 6th 2, Bicester 3rd 3 (P English 2, N Styles); Bicester Dev 4 (A Cox 2, J Chester, J Winspear), Newbury 4th 3.

YOUTH MATCHES.

Boys: Oxford Hawks Dev 0, Banbury Dev 0; Oxford Hawks Under 14 v Reading pp.

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