Report - Oxford City 1-5 Oxford United
United Triumph as City Start Pre-Season
Oxford City were on the end of a 5-1 defeat as near neighbours Oxford United ran out winners at Marsh Lane on Saturday afternoon.
The match, which was City’s first pre-season friendly, was the first of two fixtures that United were to play on Saturday, the U’s making a swift trip down the M40 at full-time for a 4pm clash with the Hoops’ league rivals Hampton & Richmond Borough.
It was a spell of three goals in four minutes from the U’s just after the hour mark that really settled the score in a match where City showed plenty of promise.
Both sides started brightly, however it was City’s Football League opponents who forced the first save of the match. Armani Little freed Jon Obika in the box, however the striker’s shot across the City goal was well stopped by Craig King.
The Hoops also looked dangerous going forward, particularly through Kabongo Tshimanga. The striker, who joined from Boston United over the summer, wriggled free of a defender in the 12th minute, however his fierce shot was straight at Simon Eastwood.
Obika was once again denied by King in the 21st minute. Cameron Brannagan’s pass played the striker through, however his shot across goal was once again kept out by the City stopper.
With the match being played in sweltering conditions for the second season running, referee Robert Massey-Ellis ordered a drinks following this chance. Shortly after the restart, Obika finally grabbed his goal. Shandon Baptiste’s clever pass saw the striker with time to round King before slotting home into the empty net.
The half died down following this strike, perhaps unsurprisingly considering the conditions. Just before the break, however, City were able to put pressure their opponents. Started by Matt Paterson’s awareness to steal the ball from a defender, and some neat passing around the edge of the box, the ball was eventually crossed in where Joe Oastler could only head wide.
The first changes came in the half time interval. City made a double change as Reece Fleet and Matt Timms came on for Zac McEachran and Ben Jefford, while United brought on Fabio Lopez in place of Owen James.
The U’s flew out of the traps second half and doubled their lead just two minutes in. Obika grabbed his second of the match, finishing well following a cross from Little.
City kept going and nearly reduced the arrears on 56 minutes. Paterson chased down a long ball over the top, before clipping over the advancing Eastwood, however his effort just beat the post.
Mark Jones then made a further six changes to his side on the hour; Joe Oastler, Matt Paterson, Josh Ashby, Udoka Godwin-Malife, Eddie Jones and Rob Sinclair all coming off for Giovanni Nouma-Oum, Tom Carter, Craig Fasanmade, Eze Ibrahim, Kyren Wiltsher and Owen Wallis.
United then looked to put the game to bed as they struck three times in just four minutes. Little added his name to the scoresheet first of all as he smashed past King, before Baptiste got on the act as he tucked away just out of reach of the City stopper.
Little grabbed his second, and United’s fifth on 70 minutes as he smashed a loose ball home from just inside the box.
City were to get a goal back as Tshimanga beat the offside trap and was then felled by former City on loan ‘keeper Jack Stevens in the U’s goal. The striker got up and took the kick himself, sending the stopper the wrong way.
All ten United outfield players were replaced on 75 minutes, as was the original plan, replaced by their new U23’s side who saw out the remaining quarter of an hour, that passed relatively event free.
A promising start to pre-season for City who impressed in spells against their League One opposition, with plenty for Mark Jones to be pleased about.
City are quickly back in action as they welcome a Luton Town side to Marsh Lane on Tuesday 17th July, a 19:45 kick-off. Further details will be released shortly for this fixture.
Oxford City (Starting XI): King, Jones, Oastler, Sinclair, Ruddick, Godwin-Malife, McEachran, Ashby, Paterson, Tshimanga, Jefford.
Subs (All Used): Wiltsher, Wallis, Nouma-Oum, Fasanmade, Timms, Musa, Fleet, Carter, Ibrahim.