OXFORD City’s hopes of recording a welcome victory were dashed when visitors East Thurrock United came from behind three times to snatch a 3-3 draw on Saturday, writes RYAN BRATLEY.

At least Mark Jones’s side ended a run of three successive defeats in Vanarama National League South, but the manager will be disappointed not to have picked up three points against their high-riding opponents.

City dominated the first half, making the most of the zippy 3G surface to run the Rocks’ defence ragged, but found themselves on the back foot after the break.

The hosts took the lead after just four minutes as Portsmouth loanee Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low cross found Dave Pearce, who netted at the near post.

However, Sam Higgins’s sublime finish from a dubiously-awarded free-kick saw them pegged back within minutes.

Both keepers were kept busy.

Kurt Smith and Higgins forced good saves from City’s Jack Stevens, while Rocks stopper Lukas Lidakevicius tipped Matt Paterson’s curling effort wide.

Lidakevicius was, however, powerless to prevent City retaking the lead in the 35th minute as Paterson rounded the Lithuanian keeper and a defender on the line to tap home.

Oxlade-Chamberlain should have double the lead on the stroke of half-time, but his close-range header went inches wide.

The Rocks came out for the second half with all guns blazing and should have equalised in the 55th minute. But a great tackle from Cristian Navarro kept Smith at bay before George Allen shot straight at Stevens from six yards.

However, their pressure was rewarded as Navarro diverted a cross into his own net in the 64th minute.

The goal revitalised City, who regained the lead ten minutes later when Reece Fleet headed home from a corner.

hurrock showed why they have remained unbeaten as Burns fired home in the 79th minute to tie the game up for a third and final time.

Oxford City: Stevens, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Grant, Poku, Navarro, Oastler, McEachran (Jones 78). Fleet, Paterson, Sinclair, Pearce (Forde 73). Subs not used: Hirst, Bennett.

Attendance: 174.