Oxford MailFOOTBALL: City tame rivals to boost survival hopes (From Oxford Mail)

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FOOTBALL: City tame rivals to boost survival hopes

Oxford Mail: City new boy Viv Soloman-Otabor (right) gets in a cross City new boy Viv Soloman-Otabor (right) gets in a cross

Oxford City gave their hopes of avoiding the drop in Skrill North a power of good as they came from behind to beat fellow strugglers Histon 2-1 at Marsh Lane last night.

The win – their first since Boxing Day – saw them narrow the gap on Histon to four points, with four games in hand.

But Mike Ford’s men had to do it the hard way after they fell behind with only three minutes on the clock.

The home defence failed to clear a corner and Nathan Hicks drove the visitors into the lead.

City hit back when newcomer Viv Soloman-Otabor forced keeper Calum Kitsha to tip his effort over the bar.

And they were level soon afterwards on 31 minutes. Tom Winters found Steve Basham inside the box and the striker made no mistake from close range.

A Winters free-kick just need a touch for a second City goal before the break.

Histon’s Kaine Shepherd sent an early second-half chance wide and then brought a decent save from City keeper Matthew Bulman, while Nick Freeman should have done better with another Histon effort, but drove wide.

City looked the better side as the game wore on, showing more purpose.

Histon struggled to clear a Winters corner and then Omar Beckles was forced to clear off the line.

The pressure eventually told in the 84th minute.

Substitute Mike Symons, who had come on for Basham after 65 minutes, collected a pass and coolly placed the ball just inside the right-hand upright.

City held on for the last six minutes to seal three precious points which could be enough by the end of the season.

Oxford City: Bulman, Henderson, Stonehouse, Pook, Preece, Willmott, Soloman-Otabor (McEachran 88), Mullings (Jackson 78), Basham (Symonds 65), Pond, Winters. Subs not used: Learoyd, Ballard.

Referee: A Serrano.

Attendance: 203.

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