Antonio Mitri’s second half strike gave Biggleswade United a 1-0 win over Oxhey Jets, the Reds’ seventh win in eight games.

Cristian Colas’ team, playing their third straight match at Second Meadow, struggled to find their rhythm at times but finally broke down the stubborn visitors’ defence to ensure they moved up to fourth in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division table.

Remarkably, it was a sixth consecutive clean sheet for United, whose superb recent run of form has lifted them from mid-table obscurity to being one of the league’s pace-setters.

It was the home team who started the brighter on Tuesday evening, with Mitri drilling an early effort wide following a short corner.

Not long after, Charlie Joy got to the byline following some good work down the left. His pull-back slipped through the fingers of Jets keeper Rob Partington and the ball fell to Matt Cooper, but his curling effort was headed clear by an Oxhey defender.

Biggleswade were forced into an early substitution on 19 minutes when full-back Ashley Grinham was unable to shake off an early knock, James Cooper coming on in his place.

United continued to enjoy the majority of possession and territory and they were handed an excellent opportunity to open the scoring when forward Dave Iwediuno was cynically brought down on the edge of the area. However, Gareth Hunt’s tame free-kick was straight at Partington.

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The visitors, who are based in Watford, threatened little in the opening period but fashioned their first opportunity of note on the half-hour mark. Matthew Hodges was played in on goal, but Reds shot-stopper Tom Wyant easily palmed the forward’s effort away to safety.

At the other end, Kevin Owusu, Iwediuno and Matt Cooper had further attempts as United had their best spell of pressure before half time, but Partington was not seriously tested.

The second period was an altogether scrappy affair with both teams continuing to struggle to create chances.

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Luke Wells’ snap-shot for Oxhey was saved by Wyant, while no one in a United shirt was on hand to take advantage after Iwediuno won an aerial duel with Partington.

It looked increasingly likely that the only way for the deadlock to be broken would be via a set-play or an error from either side, and so it proved.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Hunt floated a Reds free-kick into the Jets box which was headed back across goal by Joy. The visitors’ defence failed to clear and the ball eventually landed at the feet of Mitri, who coolly slotted past Partington.

Oxhey, five points clear of the relegation places, attempted to conjure up a response and Sim Armstrong’s free-kick was not far over the bar.

However, they were unable to fashion a clear opening and, despite forcing several late corners, United held on relatively comfortably for yet another three points.

Biggleswade United: Wyant, Grinham, Farrell, Russell, Farrell, Bilcock, M. Cooper, Hunt, Mitri, Iwediuno, Joy, Owusu
Subs: Gardner, Ponting, Packham, J. Cooper, Sturniolo

Oxhey Jets: Partington, Robertson, Thompson, Lloyd, James, Bell, Armstrong, Jones, Warn, Wells, Hodges
Subs: Hurst, Gill, Stedman

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