Oxford City welcomed Forest Green for their second meeting of the season.
Both teams started brightly hoping to make their presence felt. A fairly even first quarter with Oxford probably having the best chance when Harley Firkin played a through ball to Piers Walton on the right-hand edge of the box but his low shot went wide of the post.
Forest Green won a corner towards the end of the quarter but the header was easily collected by Ben Owen in the Oxford goal. Forest adapted to the bobbly, dry, lively pitch the better and had good control in the midfield without truly testing the Oxford Keeper - but with the midfield well marshalled and driven by Leon Morrison it looked like City would be in for a long morning.
Oxford upped their game in the second quarter and created some good opportunities to score. Piers Walton’s strong low cross from the right of the box fell to Harley Firkin on the six yard line only to see his first-time shot go over the bar. A curling free kick from Ben Stewart beat the Forest Green wall but also went over the bar. Noah Alabi won the ball on the half-way line and his mazy run, beating several players on the way, found him on the edge of the box before a good tackle from Thomas Powell-Davies (who was outstanding all game) dispossessed him.
With no goals scored at the midway stage it was looking as if one goal might be enough. It was Oxford that created the first chance of quarter 3. A ball from Harley Giles to Jack Dark inside the Forest Green box saw Dark’s shot beat the keeper only to be cleared off the line by a covering defender.
Then it was Forest Green’s turn. From a dangerous corner the ball was headed towards the right hand side of the goal but Tom Griffiths for Oxford also used his head to deny Forest. Before the quarter ended, Naseer El-hosny’s free kick was deflected over the bar by Rhys Austin in the Forest goal.
So, still all square heading into the final quarter after what was, for the most part, a scrappy third quarter.
It looked as if Piers Walton’s low curling shot from the edge of the box would break the deadlock but a great save from Austin tipped the ball round the post. A free kick was awarded to Oxford some 20 yards out after Walton was flattened when through one on one and was put off enough to miss the target. But from the free-kick Noah Alabi’s well-struck kick hit the base of the left-hand post. With time running out, another free kick to Oxford, this time on the left hand side. Alabi again stepped up to take it and his curling effort flat footed the keeper to see the ball end up in the top corner.
Oxford managed to see out the last few minutes of the match to run out 1-0 winners on the day to finally beat Forest after 2 years of trying