City do the double over the Crusaders
By Matt Robinson
A game of two halves
Having surprisingly lost 3-0 at home to Gloucester City on New Years Day, Oxford city produced a spirited performance, especially in the first , to earn the points and close the gap behind us to a single point, with a game in hand, but we remain in 14th. place in the league table, with the bottom half of the table remaining extremely close.
With away games at Hemel Hempstead and Hampton & Richmond to come in the next two weeks, there are some tough times ahead as we battle to get clear of relegation.
City began in fine style and dominated the early play whilst we soon lost Alex Wall with a muscle injury, a blow which worsened the situation, Stefan Brown already being ruled out after being Injured at Chippenham on New Years Day. There was no doubting the Oxford control which constantly had us under pressure, and Matt Paterson fired a great shot into the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead on the half-hour. At last we began to get a grip situation and were still in the game as half-time approached, but in injury-time Rob Sinclair netted after Town failed ro clear to make it 2-0.
Perhaps the half-time team talk made the difference, for things changed completely after the interval and we began to take control, Nicholas Bignall reducing the arrears with 20 minutes to go, this time City struggling to clear their lines.
City battled on gamely and somehow held onto their lead, although there was a controversial moment when their goalkeeper, Jack Stevens appeared to handle the ball outside the area as Meecham tried to lob him, but the referee waved away the appeals and Bignall ‘s shot near the end forced another good save as the visitors held on to the lead, their first-half dominance had just about earned them the three points.
Team; Marcus Beauchamp, Rhys Tyler(c) Paul Stonehouse(Diak John) , James Rusby, Matt Williams, Ritchie Whittingham, James Clark, Ian Herring(Louie Soares), Nicholas Bignall, Tom Meechan, Alex Wall(Luke Hopper).
Unused Subs; Jamal Lawrence.