FOOTBALL: Rodriguez's super strike hands ten-man Oxford City opening day victory

Javier Rodriguez on the ball in Saturday's clash

Javier Rodriguez on the ball in Saturday's clash

First published in Sport

OXFORD City’s new era opened with a victory as a superb first-half strike from Javier Rodriguez was enough to beat hosts Hyde United on Saturday.

And City, watched by their American president Thomas Guerriero, achieved their opening-day victory with only ten men after skipper Darren Mullings had been sent off in the first half.

It became a City rearguard action after that, but inspired by a man-of-the-match performance from goalkeeper Mark Scott, they held on.

Scott was called into action early on when making an excellent block to deny Connor Hughes Hyde, relegated from the Conference Premier last season, set a strong pace, but it was City, who took the lead after 13 minutes.

They were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal.

Rodriguez, one of three Spaniards making their league debuts for City, fired it up and over keeper Billy O’Brien’s wall for a terrific goal.

From then on, City grew in stature, taking the game to their opponents.

But after 30 minutes, Mullings (pictured left) was shown the red card following a late challenge on Hyde’s Aaron Chalmers.

In first-half injury time, City’s Adi Yussuf grazed the bar with a dangerous cross.

Niggly fouls interrupted the flow of the game in the second half.

Hyde should have levelled when Steve Tames rounded Scott, but he shot into the side-netting Scott made an important save to keep out the dangerous Hughes as Hyde sought to equalise.

In the closing stages, O’Brien had to go full length to prevent Rodriguez a second goal, while Yussuf shot wide from eight yards.

At the other end, Hyde’s Josh Brizell headed just over from a corner as City held on for a morale-boosting victory, much to the relief of general manager Justin Merritt and not least, Guerriero.

Oxford City: Scott, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Pond, (Malone 40), Lapoujade Garde, Green, Wilson, (Barcelos 50) Mullings, Yussuf, Rodriguez, del Alamo (Winters 50). Subs not used: Brown, Hernandez.

Attendance: 318.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Latest Sport news

George Baldock joins Oxford United on season-long loan

Oxford Mail:

4:00pm Tuesday 30th June 2015

GEORGE Baldock has agreed to return to Oxford United on a season-long loan deal from MK Dons.

Sky Sports to broadcast Oxford United's game at Bristol Rovers

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Tuesday 30th June 2015

OXFORD United’s game at Bristol Rovers in September has been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports.

Long-serving keeper Clarke is set to leave Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

10:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

Ryan Clarke looks certain to be leaving Oxford United, with head coach Michael Appleton expecting the goalkeeper to depart this week.

Oxford United players get ready to make a flying start at RAF Benson

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

Oxford's United’s squad will visit RAF Benson tomorrow for a two-day team bonding trip aimed at testing them physically and mentally.

FOOTBALL: Didcot sign up striker McDonagh as a replacement for the prolific Mills

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

Didcot  Town joint manager Ian Concannon has backed new signing Conor McDonagh to replicate the success of prolific striker John Mills.

MOTORSPORT: Gambler Plato loses lead but is happy with Croft outing

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

JASON Plato declared himself satisfied after the sixth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Croft, despite losing his slender lead at the top of the driver standings.

GOLF: Guard of honour for Bowler after Frilford marathon

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

JAMES Bowler battled blisters and breezy conditions to complete a 108-hole challenge at Frilford Heath.

MOTORSPORT: Walkinshaw raring to go for Russia

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

SEAN Walkinshaw is relishing tackling the Moscow Raceway when the fourth round of the Blancpain Sprint Series takes place in the Russian capital this weekend.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ace Nathan Kitson inspires Oxford to fine win

Oxford Mail:

6:20am Tuesday 30th June 2015

NATHAN Kitson’s hat-trick and a late try from Andy Matthews helped Oxford RL produce a stunning comeback and beat Coventry Bears 24-20 at Iffley Road.

DARTS: James Deabill leads Black Bull charge

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

JAMES Deabill bagged the highest finish of the week as Black Bull edged East Oxford Conservative Club 5-4 in Section 3 of the Greene King ODDA Summer League.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree