NICK Styles scored a superb late goal as Bicester 3rd gave their promotion hopes a big boost with a 3-2 victory at West Hampstead.
The sides were level on points going into the MBB&O League Division 5 clash, with Bicester occupying second place on goal difference.
Trailing early on, the visitors hit back through Chris Coleman to level.
The same player then scored from another penalty corner to put Bicester ahead at the break.
Hampstead drew level in the second period, but Styles won it with a fine strike five minutes from time.
Bicester 2nd lost 6-1 at home to high-flying Banbury 3rd in Division 5.
A five-goal blitz in the opening 20 minutes left Bicester with a mountain to climb.
They pulled a goal back five minutes before half-time when James Pilgrim converted an Ian Oak pass.
But although they produced a much-improved second-half display, Bicester conceded another on the break to compound their misery.
Christian Squires (2), Stuart Armstrong, Aiden Edwards, Ali Nash and Tom Tait scored for Banbury.
Bicester’s Development side drew 1-1 at home to Division 10 West leaders Sonning 6th.
Johny Winspear’s strike seven minutes from time salvaged a point.