DARREN Elliott said it was good to be back after helping Oxford City Stars to an easy 8-1 victory over Cardiff Fire at Oxpens.

Cheered on by 1,000 fans, the leaders cruised home in the English National League South Division 2 clash, with skipper Elliott marking his return from injury after three months with their final goal.

He said: “It was good to be back on the ice and to have got a shift under my belt.

“I’m taking it one game at a time and building my match fitness up and complementing it with strength and conditioning work during the week.

“The fans were superb and really got behind us in incredible numbers.”

Assistant coach Scott Gough, said: “It was important we won to stay in the mix at the top of the table.

“We had Josh Florey, Dax Hedges and Josh Oliver out with injuries and illness and so we were a bit short, but it gave other players an opportunity to step up.

“Darren coming through the game without an adverse reaction to his knee was a particular positive.”

Two goals in the first ten minutes put Stars in charge, while Darren Elliott marked his return from injury by scoring the final goal.

Just under nine minutes into the game, Matt Lawday had a shot saved by Lewis Naasson Davies in the Fire’s goal, but the rebound was slotted into the net by Andrew Cox, with a second assist from Joe Edwards.

Thirty seconds later Edwards put the Stars 2-0 up, assisted by Mike Whillock and Dominic Hopkins.

The next minute saw scrapping in front of the Fire’s net, but failed to convert.

Joe Morris was being active for the Fire and had another shot on Duffy from way back at the other end, but it was stopped by Stars’ minder Mark Duffy’s shin pads.

With a littlemore than 90 seconds left to play in the first period Whillock hit the puck from behind the Fire net.

The shot missed but was caught by Conor Redmond, who made it 3-0.

The second period began with another goal, with Whillock finding the back of the net less than a minute in, with an assist from Elliott.

With both Andrew Cox and Edwards serving penalties, Cardiff had chances to get back into the game, but it was the home side yet again who scored the next goal, this one by Kamil Kinkor with assists from Lawday and Jake Florey.

The visitors eventually opened their account in the 36th minute.

Robert Sedlak, who had to receive medical assistance following an incident that led to Alex Staples serving a 2+10 penalty, returned to the ice to shoot into the top of the net for their only goal.

But a minute later, Kinkor got his second to make it 6-1.

After a flurry of shots at the start of the third period had failed to produce a goal, Stars eventually made it 7-1 thanks to Lawday.

On their seventh attempt, he Stars finally scored a power play goal, with Edwards setting Elliott up to complete the scoring.