Oxford City must recover quickly from the previous week's FA Cup exertions as they return to league action against Chelmsford City.
The Hoops' emphatic 5-0 win over Hemel Hempstead Town may have been comfortable in the end but, with many key members of the squad having played all 180 minutes of the 4th Qualifying Round tie, tiredness could become a factor in this weekend's clash.
With their league game postponed due to Chippenham Town's involvement in the FA Cup, The Clarets instead made light work of progressing in the Essex Senior Cup: running out 3-1 winners over Tilbury on Monday night. The Isthmian League North Division side threatened an upset, taking the lead after 21 minutes, but were easily rebuffed by a dominant second half display from the hosts.
Last season saw the Hoops pull off hard-earned victories in the sides' two league encounters. The first, November's trip to the Melbourne Community Stadium, came just a week after City's historic victory over Chelmsford United and the month's second trip to Essex proved just a fruitful as the first. Dave Pearce opened the scoring, latching onto Matt Paterson's low cross in the 15th minute. Despite losing captain Lee Henderson to an injury which would ultimately see him out for most of the season, the Hoops remained firm in defence and doubled their lead early in the second half – Godfrey Poku putting the finishing touch on a swift break. Max Porter was able to pull back a goal for the hosts to set up a nervy final 25 minutes, but the visitors proved too tough to break down.
The return fixture was a similar story, the hosts riding their luck in the opening stages before Milton Keynes loanee Sam Nombe continued his rich vein of goalscoring form in blue and white by smashing an effort beneath goalkeeper Sam Beasant. The youngster made it two shortly after half time, once again utilising power rather than placement to beat Beasant after ex-Hoop Scott Davies lost the ball in midfield. The glory wasn't all Nombe's, however, as goalkeeper Craig King also recorded his first of many clean sheets for the club.
Previous meetings have also largely favoured this weekend's hosts. The Hoops came away with 4 points over the course of the 2015/16 season, with a variety of memorable names providing the goals – Bradley Bubb and Adrian Santiago were the goalscorers in a 2-2 draw at Marsh Lane before Bubb, Kynan Isaac and Luke Coulson were joined by Julien Lafuente on the scoresheet in a 4-0 win in Essex.
City's only recent defeat against the Clarets was the 5th match in a run of 7 matches without a win as Justin Merritt struggled to get his side going in the 2016/17 season. Mark Jones, however, was able to take revenge almost 8 months later when Ezra Forde and Godfrey Poku found the net on a drought-hit Marsh Lane pitch.