OXFORD City Stars crashed to back-to-back defeats.

They went down to a surprise 4-2 loss at struggling Cardiff Fire on Saturday, before suffering a 7-2 home reverse against National League 1 South title challengers Chelmsford Chieftains.

Assistant coach Darren Elliott said: “We underestimated Cardiff, they’re a young, high-energy team and they went for it and we fell short.

“For me, Chelmsford are the best hockey team in the league, and I don’t think the scoreline reflected the match.

“We got a positive response from the boys and gave Chelmsford a real game and competed throughout.

“The team played much better and we had to hold our hands up at the end, as we were facing a top side.”

Josh Oliver and Matt Lawday bagged the goals in Cardiff.

The score was 2-2 heading into the final period, but the hosts finished on top.

Backed by a good home crowd at Oxpens, Stars came out strongly against Chelmsford.

Josh Oliver broke the deadlock for the home side after 13 minutes, but Chelmsford bagged an equaliser less than two minutes before the break.

Oxford created plenty of chances in the second period but finished it 3-1 down.

In the final period Stars’ netminder Ross Miller performed some heroics between the pipes, but Chelmsford’s pressure told.

Oliver scored a consolation, but Dax Hedges was sent off for fighting in the closing minutes as tempers frayed.