THE Adver got their boots on for a grudge match with the Oxford Mail which moved the 160 appeal a step closer to its goal.

The nine-a-side encounter took place at Grange Leisure Centre, in Stratton St Margaret, on Tuesday, with the Adver team, made up of editorial and advertising staff, losing 5-0.

A figure much more important than the scoreline was the sum of £104. This is what a sweepstake, guessing the final result of the match, raised for the appeal.

Adver reporter Mike Benke, who played in goal, said: “We were obviously disappointed with the result although I do think the scoreline was slightly harsh on us. It is sad that the bragging rights have gone to Oxford but the main victory on the night was raising money for the 160 appeal.”

After a close first half, the Adver trailed 1-0 at half-time and the side’s fitness fell away in the second period as they fought to get back into the match.

John Carter, who captained the Oxford Mail’s team, said: “The game was played in a great spirit and we obviously enjoyed the result. I feared an Adver comeback just after the break but our second goal proved decisive.

“The real winner was the Adver’s 160 appeal for the Prospect Hospice. It’s a great campaign and my team-mates at Oxford were delighted to chip in with some support.”

Since launching in February, the Prospect Hospice campaign, commemorating the Adver’s 160th anniversary, has raised over £100,000 and is well on course to reach the £160,000 target.

The appeal has seen people from across Swindon raising money through cake sales, pub quizzes, fun days, skydives and other challenges.

Rachael Youd, the Adver’s newspaper sales manager, said: “The appeal is going great and we appreciate everyone’s donations. It was great to get everybody together for the charity football match on Tuesday but it was just a shame about the result.

“Thank you to everyone who took part in the sweepstake, The Greyhound pub who gave us their kit, referee Jeff Youd, and the centre for giving us a heavily discounted pitch.”