Report - Welling United 1-3 Oxford City
Welling have their Wings clipped by the Hoops
Oxford City were able to re-establish a ten-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone as they picked up an important win away at Welling United on Saturday afternoon.
Rob Sinclair, Sam Nombe and Freddie Grant all scored goals in the second half to see the Hoops to a 3-1 win on a bitterly cold, wintery day at Park View Road.
Mark Jones was afforded the luxury of being able to name an unchanged side to that which started against Havant & Waterlooville a week ago, the only change being made to his squad of 16 being the inclusion of new loan signing Kavan Cotter who started on the bench. The Hoops lined up with Craig King in goal, guarded by a back three of Joe Oastler, Connor Stevens and Frankie Musonda, with Eddie Jones and Freddie Grant operating as wing backs. Captain Godfrey Poku occupied the centre of midfield along with Reece Fleet, while Rob Sinclair started as an attacking midfielder, complementing the strike partnership of Matt Paterson and Sam Nombe.
The game started rather slowly with both sides understandably taking time to get used to the extreme conditions thrown at them.
It was the 11th minute before either side had a sight of goal. Ryan Hall picked up the ball in the Hoops’ box, however his goalbound effort was well blocked.
City had the ball in the net just four minutes later. Nombe had done excellently to pick the ball up down the right before crossing to Sinclair, who finished well, however the linesman ruled the City midfielder had been in an offside position.
It was Nombe’s turn to have an effort on the hosts’ goal on 22 minutes. He took advantage of the Wings defenders failing to clear a Paterson chance, his first time shot from the edge of the area just clearing the crossbar.
Ten minutes later the hosts forced King into his first meaningful save of the game. Bradley Goldberg picked the ball up in space in the centre before shooting powerfully at goal. King was only able to parry the effort, however was able to dive onto the rebound before an attacker.
With no other notable efforts, the sides went in goalless at the break, a half that saw the hosts control the ball but City probably with the better of the chances.
There were two changes made at half time: the first saw Connor Dymond replace Jack Parkinson for the hosts, while the second saw a change of ball. Pink balls were brought into replace the standard white match balls following further deterioration of the weather conditions.
The Hoops began to take control of the game following the break, and it was Supporters' Man of the Match Freddie Grant who had the first effort of the half on 58 minutes. He managed to burst into the box and fire a shot on the angle, his however ending high and wide.
Just two minutes later City did find themselves with a lead. A nice move around the hosts’ box saw Paterson play the ball into Sinclair, the midfielder making no mistake by slotting past Bailey Vose to put the Hoops ahead. This forced an immediate change from the hosts, Jeffery Monakana replaced Ryan Hall.
The Hoops were dealt a serious blow just seven minutes after going ahead with Poku going down with a serious looking knee injury off the ball. This lead to a lengthy delay in play before the City captain was stretchered off, and later transferred to hospital. We wish him all the best and hope to see him back out playing again as soon as possible.
This forced a change for the Hoops with Mamadou Fofana coming on to replace the stricken Poku, the Wings also taking the opportunity to make their final change with Jamie Philpot replacing Jack Jebb.
Philpot was to have an immediate impact as he brought the hosts level just minutes after coming on. He was able to reach a cross ahead of Musonda before heading past King to level the score.
Parity lasted just three minutes though. Grant showed great persistence by putting pressure onto Callum Driver, and it paid dividends as he was able to steal possession in a dangerous position. He played through Nombe who just beat Vose to the loose ball, the City striker poking past the keeper for his sixth Hoops goal.
Mark Jones made his second change just three minutes from time, bringing Kavan Cotter on for his City debut, replacing goalscorer Sam Nombe.
The excellent Grant wrapped up the victory right at the end of the 90 minutes. Again causing issues down the left, he cut onto his right foot before curling the ball brilliantly past the advancing Vose to seal the result for the Hoops.
The six minutes of added time went without incident to see City pick up their fourth league win in five which sees them 10 points clear of the drop zone with 8 games to play.
Their run of games doesn’t get any easier as they host second placed Dartford next Saturday, 3pm kick-off at Marsh Lane.
Oxford City: King, Jones, Stevens, Poku (c) (Fofana 67), Musonda, Oastler, Nombe (Cotter 87), Fleet, Paterson, Sinclair, Grant.
Unused: McEachran, Godwin-Malife, Forde.