Stars lose out despite good performance

Sunday 5th March 2017

Oxford City Stars travelled to Streatham looking to repeat their previous victory over the Redhawks by 8 goals to nil, but Streatham had other ideas. The home side started the brighter and soon forced Stars netminder Mark Duffy into action as he saved from Callum Best. Despite most of the action being in the Stars defensive zone, the visitors had early chances with Josh Florey and Josh Oliver forcing Matt Colclough in the home goal to make saves. Alan Green had the Stars best chance as his rasping shot was saved by Colclough after the puck had appeared to have gone past him. The home side opened the scoring in the 6th minute when Redhawks Sean Scarborough drew the Stars defence out of position and George Norcliffe swept the puck home past Duffy. It was Duffy to the rescue on several more occasions as the home side look to build on their lead, but Stars were still creating chances and they managed to equalise, in the 14th minute, when Jaroslav Cesky scored with a backhand flick past Colclough, with the assist going to Hallam Wilson. The remainder of the period saw both teams create chance with Stars best opportunity falling to Green when he skated round the back of the goal to fire a shot in that was somehow deflected over.

The second period saw the game open up into an end to end encounter. Wilson had a good chance for the Stars after good work by Cesky and Ben Paynter, only for Colclough to save the effort. At the other end Duffy was performing heroics as Streatham surged forward, but he was lucky when the home sides Steven Fisher hit the cross bar with a shot. Duffy then saved one on one from Alex Sampford. At the other end Cesky was carving out the visitors’ best chances and it was from his work that Green had a great chance to score in the dying seconds of the period.

The 3rd period started disastrously for the Stars as Streatham took the lead within the first minute. Stars failed to clear their lines and Sampford picked up the loose puck and passed to Best who made no mistake, firing past Duffy. Stars came back at their hosts and Joe Edwards and Dominic Hopkins both had efforts blocked. Cesky had Stars best chance after he collected the puck, rounded Colclough only to see his shot hit the frame of the goal and bounce away. It was Cesky who set up Stars equaliser when he fired across Colclough for the puck to land near Wilson. He was only centimetres from the line, and whilst falling away from the goal, managed to just touch the puck into the goal. The game then ebbed and flowed with Duffy the busier of the netminders and it was Streatham who scored what turned out to be the game winning goal when a best shot was saved by Duffy, only for the puck to find Norcliffe who calmly finished to make the final score 3-2.

This was a good performance by the Stars as a whole, but special mention must go to Mark Duffy who was the deserving recipient of the Man of the Match award for the Stars.

Ian Dibley

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