FOOTBALL City thwarted by late strike

Oxford City's Declan Benjamin is tripped, leading to a penalty which Jamie Cook converted to give them the lead against Corby

Oxford City's Declan Benjamin is tripped, leading to a penalty which Jamie Cook converted to give them the lead against Corby

First published in Sport

Oxford City were denied their first win in five Blue Square Bet North games by an 83rd minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Corby Town on Saturday, writes Matthew Bruce.

City had taken the lead late in the first half thanks to a Jamie Cook penalty, having dominated the opening 45 minutes.

But the hosts hit back in the second half and skipper Carl Piergianni’s late header ensured that the two sides shared the points.

City started brightly and almost took an early lead when Paul Stonehouse had a header cleared off the line from a corner.

Corby were also looking dangerous from set-pieces and were aggrieved not to make the breakthrough after Avelino Viera rose to head in from a corner only to have his effort chalked off for a push.

City almost undid the Corby defence when a long throw found the lively Felipe Barcelos in front of goal, only for the striker to shoot wide with the net gaping.

The visitors finally got the goal they had been threatening in the dying minutes of the first half when Declan Benjamin was felled in the area by Paul Malone, and Cook coolly slotted home from the penalty spot.

Benjamin was looking dangerous, and minutes later set up an excellent opportunity for Barcelos to double the lead, flashing a ball across the face of goal which the Brazilian striker just failed to reach.

Barcelos’s finishing failed to improve in the second half and he was left visibly frustrated after being put through on goal by an excellent ball from Darren Pond, only to let himself down with a heavy touch.

Corby restricted the visitors mostly to their own half, but seemed unable to create any chances of their own.

But just when it seemed as if City were going to grind out a hard-fought victory they were left rueing missed chances.

Piergianni evaded his marker to get his head to a dangerous ball into the heart of the City defence, securing the hosts a share of the spoils.

The draw means that City drop down to sixth and out of the play-off places.

Oxford City: Ingram, Mills, Stonehouse, Ballard, Learoyd, Gunn, Benjamin, Pond, Barcelos (Shariff 66), Cook (Walcott 75), Stanley (Ikponosg 84). Subs not used: Glass, Basham.

Attendance: 299.

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