Early Goals Stun City
Oxford City limped out of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup, falling to a heavy 3-0 defeat at the hands of North Leigh.
A combination of injuries and ineligibility meant that Mark Jones was forced to make a series of changes to his lineup. Cup-tied Craig Hill was replaced between the sticks by Jake Pritchard whilst Sam Kemp made his debut at full back and Jack Tutton deputised for the rested Godfrey Poku.
City got off to a disastrous start and found themselves two goals down within just 5 minutes. The first goal came almost directly from kickoff: Lance Williams rising highest to meet a cross from the right wing and head home. With the defence still reeling from that early setback, North Leigh struck again in the 4th minute as a neat through ball allowed Roger James to outpace Lee Henderson and slot home to double the lead.
With this rip-roaring start done and dusted, the game settle down into a considerably more steady rhythm until a 20th minute clash with Stephane Ngamvoulou left North Leigh 'keeper Agboola needing lengthy treatment to his right hand. The injury forced the young stopper off and, without a substitute on the bench, full back Morgan Williams was forced to don the gloves for the remaining hour.
The makeshift keeper was first tested on the half hour mark. Wilson Carvalho was hauled down on the edge of the D and stepped up to take the free kick himself, curling his effort around the wall and straight into Williams' body. Shortly afterwards a firm challenge incensed Jean Niate, the City defender earning a booking for his reaction.
Despite being forced to shuffle their deck, North Leigh continued to create much better chances than their opponents. Jamie Cook forced a good save from Pritchard when he took a first time shot from inside the box, although Williams should have done better as he struck the rebound high over the bar. Pritchard was called into action again very shortly afterwards as an excellent diagonal ball found George Seacole on the right hand side of the area. Fortunately for City, his shot was poorly struck.
With the half moving into a lengthy period of stoppage time, City entered their best spell of the game thus far. Forde and Ngathe combined to win possession from the North Leigh defence near the corner flag, the latter pulling the ball back to Carvalho who was unfortunate to see his shot blocked. The loose ball fell to Niate who also tried his luck with similar results, the power and unfortunate placement of his shot felling the defender. After another brief stoppage for treatment, Jack Tutton his own effort from the edge of the area beaten away by Williams.
The second half began almost as brightly for City as the first had for North Leigh. Stephane Ngamvoulou's low drive into the box took a deflection and looked to be headed wide but Williams opted to play it safe and pushed the loose ball wide. Carvalho was on hand to pick up the pieces but his powerful effort from a tricky angle ended up going out for a throw.
Having survived this scare, North Leigh were able to tighten up their defence oncemore and limit City's chances but this began to change after Mark Jones introduced Jefferson Louis and Kaiman Anderson in place of Carvalho and Ngavoulou. Anderson was handed an excellent chance just 3 minutes later as a quick free kick saw him one on one with the makeshift 'keeper but his low effort across goal was easily smothered. He went closer still just a minute later as Williams flapped at a Scott Davies corner, getting a head to the loose ball but seeing his effort hacked off of the line.
Jefferson Louis, looking lively since his introduction, was able to race clear down the right wing in the 70th minute. His low ball into the box was pushed away by the keeper but fell to Tutton who, despite pressure from a defender, was able to steer the ball goalwards only to be denied by the bar. Anderson found himself in a similar position 5 minutes later but opted to shoot rather the cross, his effort across goal beating the 'keeper but not North Leigh's Lymn who hooked the ball off of the line. The clearance allowed Seacole to break down the left, eventually finding himself one on one with Pritchard only to shoot wide.
With 10 minutes remaining and City being forced to commit more and more players in their search for a goal, they were struck a final killer blow. With a North Leigh player down injured and is teammates screaming for play to be stopped, Henderson hesitated on the ball and was dispossessed. Play continued as the now silent North Leigh poured forwards, Seacole eventually finding himself through on goal and finishing with ease to seal the victory for his side.