OXFORD City Stars are relishing the chance to get back to winning ways in their big clash at home to Chelmsford Chieftains.

The top two teams in South Division 2 of the English National League will lock horns at Oxpens on Sunday, with the hosts determined to start another unbeaten run after a surprise defeat last time out.

Stars suffered their first reverse of the season against Guildford Phoenix in their previous match, having won their opening six games.

But they know they will have to be at their best against a Chieftains side who are six points clear at the top of the table, but have played two games more than their rivals.

Stewart Tait remains unavailable with a fractured ankle, while Adam Harris is still side-lined with concussion and netminder Milan Ronai is out, with a groin injury.

Head coach Kenny Redmond has moved quickly to bring in experienced netminder John Dibble.

The 30-year-old has signed from Bristol Pitbulls and goes straight into the squad.

Redmond said: “This is the sort of game we all want to be involved in every week.

“As I said in the summer, the league is a lot more competitive this season, with teams all capable of taking points off each other.

“The results across the league are showing that and the competition is strong, which is great for the game and for the fans.”

He added: “We’ve had two intensive training sessions since our last game and everyone is focused on Sunday.

“We know we were below par against Guildford and we’ve now got a great opportunity to put that right this weekend.”

Captain Darren Elliott said: “Sunday will be another big challenge for us, but it’s the sort of challenge we need to overcome.

“We’re desperate to do well and have all worked hard in training.”

A bumper crowd is expected for the match, which gets under way at 6.15pm.

OXFORD City Stars are urging fans to pack out Oxpens on Sunday (6.15pm).

Forward Dax Hedges believes the supporters can play a key role.

“The backing is fantastic at Oxford and we are lucky to have such support,” he said.

“The fans make such a difference and when the rink is full it really gives the boys a big lift and drives us on.

“It would be great if they could come along on Sunday and get behind us again.”

Owner Scott Gough said: “We’ve added some new match-day experiences for fans including ‘chuck a puck’ and ‘shoot for goal’ during the intervals which has added to the day.

“It’s brilliant when Oxpens is full and rocking. We’re all looking forward to Sunday and hope people can come along and support us.”

Director Greig Box Turnbull added: “The togetherness at the Stars is first class and there is a real sense of direction as we continue to build.

“We’ve got another school visiting on Sunday as part of our community programme and online ticket sales are going well, so we’re advising fans to get along early.”