Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
FOOTBALL: Goal-shy City lack cutting edge as Brackley triumph
9:30am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Sport
Oxford City 0
Brackley Tn 1
Oxford City dropped into the Skrill North bottom three with a 1-0 defeat at home to local rivals Brackley Town, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
There had been little to separate the two sides when Steve Diggin struck for the visitors in the 76th minute.
But City lacked the cutting edge of their rivals and were unable to find a route back into the match.
Neither side were able to seize the initiative in a scrappy, but entertaining first half, although it was the visitors who created the better chances.
Gary Mulligan went close for Brackley after 15 minutes, poking the ball just wide after bringing down a long pass beautifully and making space for the shot.
And City goalkeeper Mark Scott had to be on his toes to keep out Brett Solkhon’s powerful header, which had looked destined for the top corner.
Mike Symons could have put City in front when the ball fell at his feet from an Andy Ballard long throw, but his shot skewed wide.
Steve Basham was also unable to find the target when he got on the end of a good passing move. City’s luck in front of goal was unchanged after the break as Symons poked a free-kick over the bar just minutes into the second half.
But that was as good as it got for the hosts as Brackley began to assert increasing pressure on the City defence.
Scott was again called into action to make a superb reaction save and keep out a bullet header from Diggin after the Brackley man rose to meet an Izak Reid cross.
But the visitors finally took the lead on 76 minutes when City failed to deal with a simple long ball, allowing it to fall to Diggin, whose first-time left-footed shot arrowed past Scott.
And Brackley nearly repeated the feat moments later when an identical ball found Diggin again, but this time the striker was ruled offside as he bore down on goal.
Former Brackley man Tom Winters came closest to hauling City level, making a dangerous run into the box only for goalkeeper Billy Turley to smother at his feet.
And Winters again went close directly from a free-kick, but he saw his shot fly narrowly over the bar and City were unable to salvage a point.
Oxford City: Scott, Clifton, Stonehouse, Ballard (McNish 71), Learoyd, Willmott, Pond, Malone (Benjamin 60), Symons, Basham (Skendi 58), Winters. Subs not used: Cook, Green.
Referee: J O’Brien.
Comments are closed on this article.