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FOOTBALL: Basham and Willmott's frustrating farewells
8:00am Monday 28th April 2014 in Sport
Oxford City 1
Bradford Park Avenue 1
(Marshall pen 79)
Former Oxford United stars Steve Basham and Chris Willmott ended their careers in frustrating fashion as Oxford City were held to a draw at home to Bradford Park Avenue in Skrill North on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
Basham was denied a goal on his final appearance as he missed a penalty, while Willmott was hospitalised with a head injury after half an hour.
Zac McEachran put the hosts in front, but Richard Marshall levelled late on from the penalty spot.
Basham, who was handed the captaincy for the day, had a glorious chance to put City in front after being played in by Jamie Cook early on, but his shot was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper John Lamb.
And Lamb foiled Basham again from the penalty spot after Cook had been felled in the area, palming his spot-kick away for a corner.
But City didn’t have to wait long for their efforts to be rewarded, as the corner was only cleared as far as McEachran, whose fierce strike from the edge of the area was deflected into the roof of the net.
Willmott then made way for Darren Mullings after receiving a nasty cut to his forehead following an aerial challenge.
Chris Wilmott waves farewell to the City fans as he is led from the field by physio Amy Taylor
Cook went close to extending the lead shortly before the break, athletically heading Tom Winters’ cross narrowly wide.
Martin Drury gave City a scare early in the second half, but after breaking free on the left-hand side, he was unable to find a way past goalkeeper Mark Scott.
City appeared to be comfortably in control as both Winters and Cook missed opportunities to put the match beyond their guests.
And they were made to pay when, on a rare foray forward, Bradford striker Chib Chilaka was tripped in the area, with Marshall duly converting the spot-kick to deny City a deserved victory.
The draw saw City drop a spot to end the season third-bottom, and they are only saved from the drop only by Vauxhall Motors’ decision to resign from the league.
Oxford City: Scott, Henderson (Ballard 71), Pond, Pook, Willmott (Mullings 32), Learoyd, Benjamin, Cook, Basham (Symons 66), McEachran, Winters. Subs not used: Bulman, West.
Referee: N Radford.
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