HOCKEY: Bicester go second despite deadlock

Peter Bowen made a string of fine saves for Bicester in their 2-2 home draw against Wokingham

Peter Bowen made a string of fine saves for Bicester in their 2-2 home draw against Wokingham

First published in Sport

Bicester moved up to second in the Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon League Division 1 table, despite letting slip a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against Wokingham on Saturday.

The home side were forced to defend early on, with Stu Goodacre blocking a shot on the line after keeper Peter Bowen had made a close-range save.

That proved crucial as Bicester took the lead.

Dave Sutcliffe fastened onto a Luke Smith pass before finishing superbly for his 22nd league goal of the season.

And it got better for Bicester when they doubled their lead early in the second half.

Sutcliffe set up Harry Gaunt who fired the ball past the diving keeper.

That should have been it, but a frantic five minutes saw Wokingham draw level, thro-ugh an own goal and a strike that crept in.

Bicester’s CJ Birtles saved a short corner on the line before Bowen pulled off two more saves to keep it at 2-2.

Bicester 3rd completed a Division 9 double over Reading Rovers with a 3-1 home win.

The home side went in front after 15 minutes when Reading failed to clear and Jason Crook fired in at the second attempt with a reve-rse-stick strike, the keeper having saved his initial shot.

Bicester went 2-0 up when Nick Styles finished coolly following a penalty corner rountine.

However, sloppy defending allowed Reading to halve the deficit with a well-taken strike from the top of the D.

Pete English sealed victory after the break with a clinical finish from the middle of the D after another penalty corner.

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