Report - Oxford City 4-0 Bognor Regis Town
Biggest Win of the Season for the Hoops
Oxford City signed off in front of the Marsh Lane faithful with their biggest win of the season as they beat relegated Bognor Regis Town 4-0, a result that mathematically confirmed City’s participation in the National League South for another season.
Matt Paterson netted a first half brace to see his side go in 2-0 at the break before Frankie Musonda and Rob Sinclair scored second half goals to see City home.
Mark Jones, who before the game had set his side a mini-target of three wins in the final week, was given a boost by the return of Eddie Jones and Frankie Musonda to his squad following suspension and injury respectively. Both returned to the starting eleven as the City boss returned to the 3-5-2 formation that had worked so well for his side over the past few months. Jones went straight back into the right wing back role, partnering Freddie Grant who started on the left, while Musonda slotted into a back three with Joe Oastler and Connor Stevens. Elsewhere, captain Godfrey Poku was partnered by Reece Fleet in centre midfield with Rob Sinclair in a slightly more attacking role, just behind strike partners of Matt Paterson and Sam Nombe. Craig King completed the line-up between the sticks.
Paterson was the main threat throughout the first half as, alongside his two goals, he was on the end of the two other best chances of the half.
On 14 minutes, Nombe had a shot saved by visiting stopper Dan Lincoln that fell to Paterson on the edge of the box, however the City striker was only able to smash his effort back at goal off the outside of the post and out for a goal-kick.
Five minutes after, following some fast closing down by Nombe, the ball was played through to an unmarked Paterson, who darted into the box before unleashing a powerful left footed effort that Lincoln superbly turned around the post for a corner, which ultimately came to nothing.
Paterson was to grab his first of the afternoon on 39 minutes from a penalty: one which was awarded in rather bizarre circumstances. Grant was fouled in the box, but with City still in possession, referee Alex Blake played an advantage. The ball made its way to Sinclair who buried his effort however, with the offside flag raised, Blake returned to the initial offence and pointed to the spot.
City’s top scorer grabbed his 19th league goal of the season, his 23rd in total as - although Lincoln went the right way – Paterson's effort was too high and powerful to stop.
His 19th was quickly followed by his 20th in the 43rd minute. A corner found its way to Musonda whose shot on the turn was well blocked by the Rocks’ defence, however it fell to Paterson on his left foot who made no mistake smashing into the roof of the net.
City didn’t stop there as Nombe was played through one-on-one with Lincoln just a minute later, however the visiting stopper stayed tall and got his body in the way of the resulting shot.
A frantic ten minutes from the Hoops was brought to an end by the referee’s half time whistle, a good half for City in the end as they got a two-goal cushion to take into the second period.
Bognor controlled the opening exchanges of the second half as they were able to put a lot of pressure on the City defence, however without being able to force King into any meaningful saves.
With a busy schedule in the back of his mind, manager Mark Jones made a couple of changes with 20 minutes to go, in the interest of keeping some fresh legs for the two midweek matches. Firstly, Mo Fofana replaced Godfrey Poku on 68 minutes before Zac McEachran replaced Sam Nombe on 73 minutes, the outgoing City striker having received what would be the only booking of the match just two minutes earlier.
Musonda put the game all but beyond doubt in the 76th minute, in spectacular fashion. Earning possession just outside the box, he cut onto his left foot before curling superbly into the far corner of the net, leaving Lincoln with no chance in the Rocks’ goal.
With the goal giving City additional breathing space, the management team took the opportunity to make their final change of the match with 9 minutes to go: Kavan Cotter coming on to replace Reece Fleet in the centre of the park.
Sinclair completed the goalscoring with just one minute of normal time remaining. McEachran played out to Paterson, on a hattrick, however his effort was well saved by Lincoln, falling back to McEachran who instead played the ball to the left post where Sinclair was waiting to tap home with ease for his tenth goal in City colours.
The full-time whistle followed shortly after, ending a successful game for the Hoops and seeing them pick up the one point required to guarantee their place in the National League South for another season.
They return to action on Tuesday evening as they make the long trip to Cressing Road to play the first of three away league fixtures in the final week of the season, 19:45 kick-off.
Oxford City: King, Jones, Stevens, Poku © (Fofana 68), Musonda, Oastler, Nombe (McEachran 73), Fleet (Cotter 81), Paterson, Sinclair, Grant.
Unused: Henderson, Forde