Oxford City recorded their first win for their 2019/20 pre-season campaign on Tuesday evening with a 2-1 victory over Thame United at the ASM Stadium.
Stefan Brown’s early goal was cancelled out quickly by Dan West, before Reece Fleet netted just before the end to see the Hoops over the line.
There were to be first appearances of pre-season for Craig King and Ben Jefford, who returned from knee and ankle injuries respectively, while Tarik Moore-Azille also recovered from laser eye surgery to play his first 45 minutes of the season.
In what’s becoming a regular occurrence this pre-season, City were to open the scoring in the third minute – a feat that they’ve managed in all three matches so far. Fleet managed to win possession in a dangerous position just outside the box, his pass across to Brown saw the striker cut onto his favoured foot before unleashing a power strike that beat Craig Hill in the Thame goal and nestled into the corner.
The lead barely lasted five minutes, however, as Thame were on level terms on seven minutes after Dan West was able to tap home unmarked after King in the City goal was only able to parry a Lyton Goss pass into his path.
A game of few chances was to follow, as it took the best part of an hour for the next clear chance to be created. Two substitutes, Kyran Wiltshire and Craig Fasanmade, were to link up as the former crossed to the latter, whose header in the centre came crashing off the crossbar.
The winner did eventually come five minutes from the end, in rather fortuitous circumstances for the Hoops. Hill, in the Thame goal, was closed down by Fasanmade and Fleet, the latter able to tackle the stopper which allowed the midfielder to run onto a loose ball and simply tap into the unguarded net.
Oxford City return to Marsh Lane on Saturday as they welcome AFC Rushden & Diamonds to Oxfordshire for the next pre-season friendly.
Oxford City: King (Boyle H/T), Jones, Otiko, Ashby, Moore-Azille (Tapp H/T), Jefford (Oastler H/T), Rowe (Wiltshire 62), Fleet, Brown (Fasanmade 62), Self (Wright 70), Owusu.