KENNY Redmond praised the character of his Oxford City Stars players after they earned an 8-4 victory at Peterborough Phantoms.

The win keeps the side, who have up to three games in hand on their rivals, within six points of the leaders in English National League South Division 2.

Captain Darren Elliott scored a hat-trick as Stars recovered from 2-1 down to record a sixth successive victory.

Head coach Redmond was delighted with his side’s showing in Cambridgeshire.

He said: “It was a hard-fought and well deserved win and we’re very pleased with the performance.

“Peterborough is a tough place to go to and we showed a great deal of character at various stages to overcome them.”

Stars were ahead in the third minute, Dax Hedges scoring after good work from Martyn Gray.

However, the visitors took advantage of Dom Hopkins’s tripping penalty to level, and were only denied a first-period lead when netminder John Dibble produced a great save a minute before the buzzer sounded.

Stars started the second period well, but against the run of play found themselves behind when Ross Clarke netted.

However, the visitors hit back and quickly went 5-2 ahead.

Elliott equalised with an assist from Josh Oliver, before Jake Florey scored a fine goal after a mazy run to put Stars ahead.

Further strikes from Matt Lawday, after a Florey pass, and Tom Davis put them in control.

They were pegged back at the end of the period, however, when Nick Alley scored on the powerplay to make it 5-3.

The game was in the balance just minutes into the final period when Peterborough cut the deficit to one goal when former Stars player James Pentecost scored.

However, two quickfire goals from the visitors all but wrapped up the points.

Mike Whillock and then Elliott capitalised on Peterborough penalties to put Stars 7-4 ahead.

Elliott then completed his hat-trick, assisted by Alex Staples, to make sure of maximum points.

Stars return to action at Oxpens on Sunday when they take on Bracknell Hornets (5.15).