BICESTER kept their promotion hopes alive by coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to leaders Newbury & Thatcham 2nd in the South League on Saturday.

The result saw Newbury knocked off the top of Middlesex, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Division 1, with Bicester a close third.

The visitors dominated the first half, but the North Oxon side held firm as Stu Goodacre, CJ Birtles and Daniel Round provided solid defence in front of the outstanding keeper Nathan Elliott.

Early in the second half, Jonny Reid went close for the hosts from an acute angle, while Andy Brown was denied from a short-corner routine.

Newbury and Thatcham shifted the momentum and took the lead from a penalty corner after they were quicker to the loose ball in the D.

Bicester continued to press and eventually won another short corner, which Birtles converted through the keeper’s legs.

There was no further score despite a flurry of cards late on.

This Saturday, Bicester have a chance to maintain their promotion push when they visit lowly South Berkshire.


Ladies: Bicester 2nd 2 (A Vizard, KA McKenna), Kidlington 1; Bicester 3rd 3 (C Humphreys, G Mann, A Radford), Maidenhead 5th 0; Bicester 5th 1 (N Noel), Slough 3rd 3.