HEAD coach Simon Anderson is optimistic about the future as an improving Oxford City Stars took another step in the right direction.

Injuries and suspensions have plagued the side in the opening weeks of the season.

But they moved up to seventh in National League Division 1 South after a 7-2 success against Milton Keynes Thunder.

Import Ryan Widmar starred with a hat-trick, in what was a fourth win in five games at Oxpens.

Anderson said: “I’m really pleased with the boys.

“We played fast, were an offensive threat whenever we went forward, and I thought we played a good defensive game in front of our netminder Ross Miller for the most part.

“We want to go on a run, and we will be looking to continue our form against Bracknell.”

He added: “We’re improving every week and the guys are taking everything onboard that I want us to do.

“We want to improve our road form and we will get an opportunity to address that in the next few weeks.

“Getting most of our guys back from suspension and injuries has been a key factor and guys have to work hard to keep their spots.

“We have moved up in the standings and I now want us to be looking up the league table and not behind us.

“To do that we need to continue our form and beat the teams above us and we will be doing our best to do exactly that.”

David Manning opened the scoring for the Stars on his return from suspension and Widmar weighed in with two strikes to put the hosts in charge.

Thunder scored either side of Jake Williams’ effort, before Widmar completed his treble.

Oxford looked comfortable in the final period and were rarely troubled by the visitors.

Williams bagged his second, before Joe Edwards wrapped up the big victory with the seventh goal.

Stars have another chance to impress at home this weekend, when Bracknell Hornets visit on Sunday (6.15pm).