Oxford MailFOOTBALL: Preece's late winner lifts Oxford City out of the drop zone (From Oxford Mail)

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FOOTBALL: Preece's late winner lifts Oxford City out of the drop zone

Oxford Mail: Oxford City's match-winner Mark Preece heads the ball on from a first half corner Oxford City's match-winner Mark Preece heads the ball on from a first half corner

SKRILL PREMIER

OXFORD City climbed out of the relegation zone after a last-gasp 1-0 victory at home to Gainborough Trinity.

Mark Preece’s 88th-minute header gave City a second successive win that lifted them out of the bottom three.

An evenly-contested match looked like ending in a draw to leave City second-from-bottom.

But Preece met Michael Pook’s free-kick at the far post to head past Phil Barnes in the Gainsborough goal and give his side’s survival hopes a massive boost.

Jonathan Margetts shot wide from 20 yards before forcing a decent save from home keeper Matt Bulman, who was preferred to Mark Scott.

At the other end, Tom Winters’s cross just needed a touch to be turned in, while Zac McEachran tested Barnes with a decent shot.

Barnes had to turn round Pook’s free-kick for a corner before Darren Pond fired just wide from Winters’s pass.

Margetts and City’s Darren Mullings went close after the break, but there were few clear-cut chances.

Mike Symons narrowly failed to connect with a cross from fellow City substitute Josh O’Hanlon.

But with time running out, the hosts struck the decisive blow as Preece rose to head past Barnes into the corner and send City’s fans home jubilant.

City visit fellow strugglers Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.

Oxford City: Bulman, Benjamin, Stoneshouse, Pook, Learoyd, Preece, McEachran (Solomon-Otabor 45), Mullings, Basham (Symons 55), Pond, Winters (O’Hanlon 63). Subs not used: Willmott, Jackson.

Referee: S Plane.

Attendance: 233.

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