HEAD coach Simon Anderson hailed Oxford City Stars’ spirit after they narrowly lost to high-flying Streatham.

Despite seeing his side go down 4-1 in South Division 1, the depleted visitors were always in the game despite missing seven players through injury and suspension.

Looking to avenge their recent 8-1 home reverse to their rivals, Stars defended valiantly throughout with netminder Ross Miller in outstanding form.

But Streatham, fresh from a 7-0 victory against Slough Jets, eventually made the pressure count with a

hat-trick from Danny Ingoldsby.

Anderson said: “It was a great performance from the boys.

“That sounds crazy because we did not win the game, but that was probably the best complete game we had played.

“I believe had we been against any other team in the league, it would have resulted in a win.

“Normally I don’t single guys out, as it is a team game, but Ross Miller must take a huge amount of credit for his display.

“He gave us a chance to win the game with performance is what we need if we are going to be successful.”

He added: “We played with even fewer bodies as Jake Florey picked up an injury, so with five defencemen and eight forwards it was tough.

“But the guys dug in and had we had taken our chances – we had plenty – we may have caused a shock.

“The boys were buzzing after the game and confidence despite our losses lately is really high.”

Anderson is now hoping his side take their display into preparations for their home match against Slough this weekend.

“We need to take it into practice this week and into the game on Sunday,” he said.

“We need to start picking up some wins soon and I believe this is not far away.

“We should have a couple of extra bodies back this week and that will help us get at least three full lines on the ice.”

The first period ended 0-0, with Miller pulling off a string of fine saves.

Oxford had a chance to open the scoring as Mike Whillock and Josh Florey combined, but they were thwarted by Nate Gregory.

Streatham broke the deadlock early in the second period and added another just after the half-hour mark.

Five minutes later, Ingoldsby completed his hat-trick after a pass from Adam Carr.

Just before the break Oxford pulled one back via Whillock, assisted by Joe Edwards.

Man-of-the-match Miller’s heroics in goal continued in the third period.

The netminder was withdrawn with two minutes to go as Oxford looked for a way back into the game.

With two minutes remaining Oxford withdrew Miller to try and force the game.

They went close to scoring via Olly Shone, but the puck went loose, and Streatham fired into the empty net to make it 4-1.