It’s part one of a two-part weekend on Saturday as Oxford City welcome Slough Town to Marsh Lane in something of a 3G-derby. With just three games remaining for both sides in the season, you’d be thinking that we’re certainly into the realms of nothing to play for matches, however this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite Oxford City’s hopes of a play-off position admittedly a while back, visitors Slough Town are certainly in the mix for making it into the top 7, with three points against the Hoops taking them potentially within 3 points of the positions.
However, as proven last weekend, City will not be rolling over to provide their opponents an easy ride. Brandon Thomas-Asante gave the Hoops all three points against another play-off chasing side in Concord Rangers last weekend, his goal just after the break all it took to seal a 1-0 victory.
This weekend’s opposition will certainly provide a very different challenge, especially with a record that reads five victories and two draws in their last seven outings. They were far from what you’d call easy games as they boast wins against Welling United, Woking and Billericay Town amongst those, while points against St Albans City and Concord Rangers were far from poor results either.
In the reverse fixture at Arbour Park earlier in the campaign, it was the hosts that came out on top against a Hoops side that, in truth, never really got going. Despite this, the opening goal came in controversial circumstances. A penalty was awarded after King was adjudged to have felled Matty Stevens in the box, however footage later showed the City stopper got a strong hand on the ball during the incident. Former Hoop James Dobson made no mistake from the spot to put the hosts ahead.
Any hopes of a City comeback were dashed on the stroke of the break as skipper Joe Oastler was dismissed for fouling Stevens when the frontman was through on goal. Despite not being punished then, the Rebels eventually doubled their lead midway through the half: a corner evaded a number of home bodies and flew through to an unexpectant Reece Fleet, who could only watch helplessly as the ball ricocheted off him and into the net.
There’s little rest for both sides following the conclusion of tomorrow’s match as both will be in action on Monday afternoon – Slough Town host Eastbourne Borough, while Oxford City will make their final trip of the season, this time along the M4 to Bath City for a 3pm kick-off at Twerton Park.