Report - Oxford City 4-0 Truro City
City Continue Climb Up Table
Oxford City followed up their shock win over Billericay with a convincing 4-0 win over Truro City, putting to an end the Tigers' six-match unbeaten run.
An uneventful first half reflected the two sides' positions near the top of the form table, the Hoops going into the break with a slender lead thanks to Kabby Tshimanga's penalty, but a gulf in class soon became evident as three second half goals from Joe Oastler, Sam Nombe, and Craig Fasanmade ensured the points remained in Oxfordshire.
Mark Jones was able to name the same side which triumphed in Essex a week prior. Kabby Tshimanga spearheaded the attack, supported by playmaker Zac McEachran in the centre with Sam Nombe and Kyran Wiltshire on the wings. Reece Fleet and Jack Self completed the midfield in front of central defensive partners Joe Oastler and Udoka Godwin-Malife, whilst Eddie Jones and Ben Jefford operated at full back. Finally, the side was rounded off by goalkeeper Craig King.
The Hoops got off to an incredibly bright start and could have broken the deadlock within minutes. Tshimanga produced an exquisite touch to control a long ball on the edge of the Truro box but, despite an abundance of time and space, was unable to produce a finish which lived up to it.
Fittingly, the following half hour of action also failed to live up to the opening five as both midfields traded possession without threatening either goal.
Things sparked back into life in the 33rd minute with the award of a penalty. Tshimanga's pace allowed him to beat Harvey Rivers to a ball down the left channel and he was quickly brought down as he looked to round the stricken 'keeper. The striker took charge of the spot kick himself and, once a bizarre protest over whether or not the ball was on the spot had been dismissed, confidently sent the 'keeper the wrong way.
The Tigers almost found an immediate equaliser. Tyler Harvey lined up a shot from the edge of the area which, whilst not particularly powerful, was well placed enough to evade the outstretched arm of King and strike the base of the post.
With Tshimanga's goal all that separated the sides going into the break, both sides will have come out for the second half feeling that the game was theirs for the taking.
The Hoops were forced to make one half time change, Kunle Otudeko replacing the injured Ben Jefford, causing Kyran Wiltshite to drop back into a more defensive role.
Otudeko almost made his mark on the game in the 49th minute, forcing a good stop from Rivers with a well-struck effort from the edge of the area.
As the hour mark approached, City redoubled their efforts to double the lead. McEachran, who had been instrumental in almost every attacking move thus far, once again linked up with Tshimanga to give the striker a shooting opportunity. His effort was put behind for a corner which, when delivered to the back post, was met by a flying Joe Oastler – his powerful header back across goal easily beating both Rivers and the player on the line to make it 2-0 to the Hoops.
Two goals down and struggling to create any clear chances, the visitors were forced to shuffle their deck with a desperate double substitution.
The changes had little effect as City quickly extended their lead oncemore. This time it was Sam Nombe who worked his way onto the scoresheet, latching onto a perfectly weighted Tshimanga through ball to slide a confident finish into the bottom corner to notch his third goal in as many games.
With the game looking safe, Mark Jones made his two remaining substitutions – Zac McEachran and Kabby Tshimanga making way for Bobson bawling and Craig Fasanmade.
With five minutes remaining, the visitors showed some signs of threatening a comeback. Tyler Harvey was the first to go close, racing clear of the defence only to be denied by an onrushing King, before Jon-Paul Pitmann fluffed his lines when unmarked at the back post.
With the all-important clean sheet still intact, the Hoops went in search of a fourth goal. IT looked as though it wasn't to be when Nombe's snapshot from six-yards was somehow saved at point blank range, but a golden opportunity arose in the first minute of added time as Bawling was chopped down in the penalty area. The winger took charge of the Hoops' second spot-kick of the game but was unable to convert. Thankfully, however, the loose ball eventually fell to Fasanmade who dutifully found the back of the net despite tangling with Otudeko.
The result means that Oxford City now sit 12th in the National League South and could potentially venture into the top half of the table with a win against East Thurrock on Tuesday night – a game which, incidentally, will mark manager Mark Jones' 100th game in charge of the Hoops.
Truro, meanwhile, face a potential slide back into the relegation scrap which their recent run of fought looked set to see them escape – victories for both East Thurrock and Hungerford bringing them back within two points of the drop zone, albeit with two games in hand.