Fixture: FA National League Futsal; Team Bath v Oxford Lions
Date: Sunday 8 January 15.00pm Ko
Fixture: Team Bath 5 – 7 Oxford Lions
Venue: Founders Hall
Before the start of the day both teams knew at the end of play regardless of the result that they would both still be in 1st and 2nd place in the league.
However, after the scintillating first match between the two where Oxford won 7-6 with 12 seconds to go the teams wanted to put on another good match for the noisy crowd that attended.
In addition Bath was looking to avenge that result before Christmas.
With a vociferous away support in the Founders Hall it was sure to be a noisy afternoon. Both teams started at a fairly low tempo almost like a chess game waiting for the other team to move first.
Throughout the afternoon both Goal Keepers were in fine form and were called into action early making a string of fine saves.
Oxford then broke the deadlock with a cute pass behind the Bath defence that was toe poked home by Luke Ballinger.
Team Bath responded and began moving the ball into key areas of the court with Jennings and Dorin going close. A minute later Bath equalised through the ever reliable Parkes stretching for a rebound poking the ball home.
All afternoon the game went from end to end. Neither side took control of the game for long enough periods to dominate.
Oxford quickly re-established their lead by two goals going up 3-1 with strikes from Gibin and Lucas Ferras.
In reply Bath scored a second through Parkes, again finishing off another flowing move of over 10 passes.
At half time Bath settled themselves and began the second half where they finished off the first and got the score back to 3-3, Parkes scoring his hat trick at the back post after good work by Gardiner. This woke Oxford up who rallied scoring three counter attacking goals although Bath were dominating possession.
Oxford were ruthless when presented the opportunities and if it was not for Dix in the Bath goal keeping the home side in the game it could have been worse.
At 6-3 down Bath did not panic knowing they could score goals against their opponents defence and they did. Two great passes within two minutes brought Bath back to 6-5.
Firstly, on the diagonal Ollie Clarke played in Ingram to make it 6-4 before Kitson found Parkes who turned and shot to make it 6-5 with three minutes to go.
At 6-5 Bath were pushing on for the equaliser and Oxford were a threat on the counter.
Man of the Match Brendan Dix in the Bath goal kept the home team in the game at 6-5 with an outstanding save at the back post, clawing a goal bound shot one handed from behind him to divert it over the bar.
This inspired the home team who ventured forward with the powerplay in the last two minutes as Oxford seemed to tire.
A scrabble in front of goal almost led to the equaliser before the ball dropped down to an Oxford player who scored into an empty net to win the game for the visitors.
The game was another tight affair between two good teams.
Oxford now moves three points ahead of Bath at the top of the league.
Bath has three weeks of BUCS action before all attentions will be on making the play offs this season with half a dozen league matches to go.
Team Bath: Dix (GK), Kitson, Jennings (c), Parkes, Clarke, Ingram, Dorin, Ott, Gardiner, Lima (GK)