Harry Loxton completed a hat-trick to keep improving Banbury heading in the right direction.
Banbury beat Milton Keynes 5-3 in Saturday’s South Premier Hockey League fixture. Steve Brooker needed a positive response from his players after last week’s EHB Cup disappointment and he got it as his side picked up three more division one points.
Banbury started with clear instructions to pass the ball and work as a team, and they did just that.
They dominated possession in the first 25 minutes but couldn’t break an organised Milton Keynes defence. But in the 32nd minute Banbury broke the deadlock through an exquisite drag-flick from Josh Nunneley.
Two more goals followed in quick succession before the break. A lapse in concentration allowed Jamie Dodd to put the visitors back on level terms but in the final minute of the half Banbury scored again.
Steve Campbell stripped the ball off the opposition on the left hand side of the pitch and broke away. He found Loxton who beat one player, carried the ball to the baseline and then fired a pin-point pass to Barney Williams who dived at full stretch and slot it home from a yard.
The second half saw Milton Keynes start to control possession.
Within ten minutes of restart, Banbury had conceded twice through lapses in concentration at the back and in the midfield with Mikey Gilson twice taking advantage for the visitors.
But there was no panic and Banbury had learned their lesson from last week.
Banbury began to press again, pass the ball to a red shirt and scored an excellent equaliser. Nunneley was once again in the action, through an aerial pass to Kyle White who picked up the ball perfectly, carried it hard towards the D and then found Loxton who slapped it first time into the net.
Wth an inspired back four moving the ball around the park and quicker free hits, Banbury bagged the late winner. Foreman and Campbell combined in the middle to find Loxton behind the visitors’ defence, he was driven wide but scored with a clean strike on his backhand.
Banbury will be looking to maintain their good form when they travel to Lewes on Saturday.