OXFORD City Stars got back to winning ways – but were made to work hard by lowly Basingstoke Buffalo.

Kenny Redmond’s side won 3-2 in their South Division 2 clash and are now just three points off top spot with a game in hand.

Following their defeat at Solent Devils a week earlier, it was vital Stars regained the winning habit.

And although their performance was not the best of the season, the head coach was delighted with the result.

“It was a tough game and great to get two points,” Redmond said.

“They set up not to lose and defended well and their netminder had a great game.

“We dominated, but need to be more clinical in front of goal.”

He added: “We’re not firing on all cylinders at the moment, but we’re still picking up points.

“The away support was fantastic, they were really vocal and stayed behind us and encouraged us to find a way to win.”

A tight opening period saw few chances, with no goals and one penalty apiece.

However, just 47 seconds after the restart Basingstoke took the lead.

Cameron Buckle, assisted by Liam Coleman and Samuel Brooks, fired home to put Oxford on the back foot.

Gradually, however, the visitors got back into the game.

And they drew level in the 34th minute when Conor Redmond found the net, with help from Alex Staples.

Stars went ahead for the first time in the final period.

Tom Davis found the net on 47 minutes, assisted by Lee Richardson.

Buoyed by the goal, Oxford pushed forward and just two minutes later made it 3-1 with Dom Hopkins scoring from a shorthanded play.

However, the hosts refused to lay down and reduced the deficit just a minute later through Buckle’s second of the game.

But Stars held firm for the final ten minutes to pick up a welcome victory.

They are next in action at home to Basingstoke on Saturday, December 22 at Oxpens (5.15pm).