Strugglers are unable to get off mark at Reading

Natasha Roberts got Banbury's only goal at Reading
Natasha Roberts got Banbury's only goal at Reading

Banbury missed the golden opportunity to gain their first South Clubs Women’s Hockey League points of the season.

Basement side Banbury lost 4-1 at Reading in Saturday’s bottom-of-the-league division three fixture.

They started off the game with a strong attack as Maddie Hunt had an early shot at goal which was saved by the keeper who put on a phenomenal display all match. A good passage of play from Reading followed, leading to a series of short corners, with Banbury conceding two goals from Maddie Richardson and Lucy Scott.

Disheartened, Banbury lost their shape allowing Serena Hickman to strike the ball into top left corner after good open play from Reading.

As halftime approached, a Banbury free-hit was cleverly passed to Natasha Roberts by Victoria Warlow and she clinically finished.

Banbury came back stronger after the restart with Emily Newsome and Molly Levene fronting the attack. That led to Banbury winning multiple short corners, resulting in Warlow winning a penalty-flick taken by Roberts which was stopped by the keeper.

Banbury continued to press forward with Beth Camp diving to the floor and deflecting the ball just wide. Against the run of play, Reading intercepted from a Banbury sideline and drove into the D with Ellie Mann slamming home.

Newsome was awarded a green card for not retreating five metres from a free hit but the defence stayed solid. The visitors missed out on a late consolation goal as Grace King narrowly pushed the ball wide.