Report - Whitehawk 1-3 Oxford City
Cup success at the seaside
Oxford City progressed into the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup as a brace from Zac McEachran and a Reece Fleet strike saw them beat Whitehawk 3-1 at the Terrapura Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Mark Jones made one enforced change to the starting eleven ahead of the game as Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain was replaced by Eddie Jones at right back, following a request by parent club Portsmouth. Jones joined a back four that also consisted of Freddie Grant, Cristian Navarro and Joe Oastler. Rob Sinclair, Reece Fleet and captain Godfrey Poku made up the central midfield with Zac McEachran and Dave Pearce starting in the wide roles, with Matt Paterson starting as a loan striker. Jack Stevens retained his position in goal.
The game started evenly with both teams managing spells of possession, however The Hoops had the clearer opportunities early on. On seven minutes, Paterson flicked a ball on to Sinclair who controlled well on the edge of the area. A good defensive challenge stopped him from getting a clear sight at goal and the attack was diffused. The Hoops had a goal disallowed five minutes later as McEachran bundled the ball over the line after Jones’ run up the byline, however the ball was adjudged to have gone out of play before reaching the City midfielder.
The hosts put together a spell of pressure following these attacks, Conor Tighe shooting over from the edge of the box on 20 minutes with their first shot of anger of the game. Eight minutes later and it was the hosts who took the lead. Michael Cain won the ball in midfield and played a pin-point pass through to Enoch Andoh that saw the striker through on goal and, once reaching the edge of the box, he curled a shot out of Stevens’ reach and into the top right corner of the net.
This sparked The Hoops into action and three minutes later they were back level through Reece Fleet. The midfielder picked up possession on the left hand side of the box and cut it onto his right foot. His shot took a wicked deflection off of Sean Roddy and looped over Simon Jorgensen, who was off his line, in the Whitehawk goal.
The Hoops were in the ascendancy following this goal and nearly found themselves in front on 35 minutes. McEachran cleverly weaved his way through The Hawks defence and was able to run onto the end of a cross in the right hand side of the box. He managed to get a fierce shot away, which was well saved by Jorgensen. He only had to wait five minutes longer before he grabbed his first of two goals.
A long ball into the box saw Paterson outmuscle the Whitehawk stopper but, despite calmly creating space for himself, the prolific striker was unable to squeeze his shot through a pack of defenders. The Hoops were, however, able to recycle possession; a good cross found Sinclair at the far post where, despite heavy pressure from a defender, he was able to pick out McEachran for a simple tap in.
The Hoops started where they left off in the Second Half as they all but sealed the victory in the 49th minute. A decisive break saw Eddie Jones charge down the right and cross deep into the Hawks penalty area. Paterson reached the cross and was able to flick back to McEachran, who waited for the keeper to commit before finishing into the opposite corner to put them 3-1 up.
The tempo of the game slowed following this goal, however City still looked dangerous going forwards. Freddie Grant got forward down the right and cut back for McEachran to shoot. His shot was blocked, but fell to Dave Pearce whose effort was pushed away by Jorgensen.
McEachran was close to grabbing a hattrick on 61 minutes as a smart short corner routine caught the Hawks defence off guard. McEachran played to Pearce, and he immediately passed back to the midfielder, who ran at the defence and from a tight angle hit the crossbar. His shot fell to Paterson and his shot, with his back to goal was blocked. The ball then reached Fleet, whose curled shot on the angle hit the crossbar, which was however was called for offside.
City had one final chance in the 90th minute, as the Whitehawk stopper spilt a ball he gathered off the feet of Paterson. McEachran was able to gather and play in Grant, whose shot was blocked on the line. Sinclair was then able to pick up the loose ball and finds Fleet, his effort was gathered by the keeper.
The Hoops saw the remaining moments out to see their name in the hat for the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, the draw for which is made on Monday afternoon. They now have a week off before their next fixture, an away game at Eastbourne Borough in the National League South.
Oxford City: Stevens, Jones, Grant, Poku, Navarro, Oastler, McEachran, Fleet, Paterson (Forde 90+’), Sinclair, Pearce (Tutton 86).
Unused Sub: Fofana.