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Hickman hat-trick maintains Oxenhope title bid
Field Reserves 1 Oxenhope Reserves 4
An outstanding team performance gave Oxenhope’s second string three more vital points in the race for the title.
From the first whistle to the last the men in orange ran and pressed tirelessly, scoring four goals and creating many other chances.
Leroy Hickman opened the scoring after just three minutes when he finished at close range from a move down the right created by Craig Morris.
Morris then latched on to a cross on the quarter-hour and sent a thunderous first-time volley into the back of the net from 15 yards.
Oxenhope threatened to run riot as Field’s defence could not cope with the speed of visiting front three Leon Smith, Hickman and Morris.
Yet against the run of play they did get a foothold from a quick free-kick. The ball was rolled out wide to their overlapping full back, whose fierce cross was diverted into his own net by the unfortunate Liam Blacka.
Oxenhope now had to dig deep as Field pressed for the equaliser but shortly before half-time the two-goal cushion was restored when Hickman nipped in behind the defence, controlled the ball and slid it on the turn through the keeper’s legs.
Hickman made it four in the second half and in so doing claimed his hat-trick with an exquisite chip after the ball had been worked through to him by Nivard Trowers.
Smith, Morris, Chris Fazackerley and Trowers all could have added to the scoreline but saw their shots go just wide or saved.
This display left manager Rick Cummins with a broad smile following an exemplary effort in terms of work-rate, desire and attitude from his players.
Oxenhope must now wait until Wednesday (6.15pm) for their next fixture when they face Old Headingley Reserves at Marley.
*The Oxenhope first team’s game against Premier Division strugglers Whitkirk was postponed. They travel to Boroughbridge on Saturday (2.30pm).
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