Brooker will be looking for maximum return at Staines

Banbury's Steve Campbell goes past Old Cranleighians Hugh Robinson
Banbury's Steve Campbell goes past Old Cranleighians Hugh Robinson

In-form Banbury travel to basement boys Staines on Saturday looking to extend their three-match unbeaten run in the South Premier Hockey League.

Steve Brooker’s boys head south for their final game of 2015 on the back of a 1-1 draw with third-placed Old Cranleighans in Saturday’s division one fixture.

Banbury edged closer to Oxford Unitersity following Saturday’s draw and are now just one point behind in eighth place as they continue to make progress following a poor start to the life back in the top division.

Banbury started the game strongly and created a number of chances which they were unable to convert. At the other end Banbury defended well with Harry Brooker making some important interceptions.

After 25 minutes played in a very tight game it was Banbury that eventually opened the scoring when top scorer Harry Loxton was taken down by the visitors’ goalkeeper and Steve Campbell converted the ensuing penalty-flick.

But their lead did not last long as Old Cranleighans were awarded a short corner which their left slip fired in at Scott Reynolds’ near post.

The second half began very cagey with both sides unable to break through the solid defences and each being awarded green cards for missed timed challenges. The best chance of the opening exchanges fell to Cranleighans which Reynolds did extremely well to smother and save Banbury from going behind.

Banbury also created chances of their own and if not for some fine goalkeeping at the other end would have had chances to take all three points.

In an unusually low scoring game at North Oxfordshire Academy the point meant both teams went away happy but Brooker will be banking on returning with all three at Staines.