Report - Oxford City 1-1 Chippenham Town
Two Second Half Goals See Spoils Shared
Oxford City and Chippenham Town shared the spoils as a true game of two halves ended in a 1-1 draw.
The Hoops looked set to run riot with their dominant first half display, however's the visitors' gameplan paid dividends with a deep defensive line preventing their hosts from making the most of their possession.
Oxford City manager Mark Jones made two key changes to the side which capitulated against Chelmsford City on Saturday: loanees Frankie Musonda and Sam Nombe both earning their first starts of their second spells at the club, the latter having re-signed on the afternoon of the game.
The Hoops were able to quickly settle into their usual passing game as Chippenham seemed happy to sit back and invite pressure, allowing Nombe to begin showing his pace and power down the right wing.
The Milton Keynes youngster came close to opening the scoring in the 17th minute with a rasping effort from a tight angle which 'keeper Bradley House did very well to touch onto the crossbar and behind for a corner.
House was tested once again just four minutes later, Rob Sinclair this time the player to take aim with a well-struck effort which required a strong hand to push around the post.
Faced by a tough defence, City routinely shuffled their attacking deck and one such re-organisation placed Nombe front and centre in their strikeforce. His second sight of goal came shortly afterwards, a good move allowing him to strike well with his less favoured left foot, but House was once again his equal as he beat the effort away.
The half time whistle brought to an end a truly dominant 45 minutes of football from the Hoops, but one which meant nothing without a goal on the scoreboard.
The early stages of the second half could scarcely have been more different to the first. The visitors were quick to get onto the front foot and were rewarded in the 47th minute when a ball into the near post somehow found its way into the back of the net.
The Hoops struggled to re-establish themselves in the minutes which followed, the pace and physicality of the Chippenham wreaking havoc amongst a defence already disrupted by the half time substitution of the injured Udoka Godwin-Malife.
Nick McCootie had a golden chance to double his side's lead with 20 minutes remaining, racing free to face King one-on-one but ultimately being bested by the 'keeper who stood up well to his effort.
That lack of clinicality was punished just minutes later. City won a free kick on the left side of the opposing area and, whilst Josh Ashby's effort on goal was nowhere near his best, it still proved too much for House to handle as he spilt the ball directly into the path of Musonda. The young defender made no mistakes, slotting home with ease to record his second goal for the club.
The goal set up a nervy final quarter of an hour in which both sides had chances, but neither could find another goal to secure all three points.