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FOOTBALL: North Leigh hand City 5-0 hammering in cup final
11:30am Wednesday 18th April 2012 in Sport
North Leigh lifted the Oxfordshire Senior Cup for the second time in four years after thrashing a youthful Oxford City 5-0 in the final at the Kassam Stadium.
Back in 2008, the Millers won with a 2-1 victory against Banbury when they were the underdogs, and this time as favourites, they did it again with a professional performance.
With their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division promotion battle occupying their thoughts, City named just three senior players in their line-up, and North Leigh took full advantage with a ruthless display of finishing.
They went close to breaking the deadlock when skipper Stuart Hole set up Keiran Sanders, only for the winger to blaze over.
Minutes later, a pass from Elliot Osborne-Ricketts found Morgan Williams, but his shot was saved by Keith McLoughlin in the City goal.
It was no surprise when North Leigh took the lead. Michael Hopkins’s pass found Osborne-Ricketts whose left-foot shot found the bottom corner from 18 yards.
It would have been 2-0, but McLoughlin did brilliantly to push a swerving shot from Sanders up and over the bar.
Just before the break, City mounted a rare attack with Dan West bursting forwards into the box only to be thwarted by Sam Warrell.
The second half was preceded by a heavy downpour and it was looking even more gloomy for City as North Leigh looked to addd to their tally.
Only a tremendous block from Conrad Jospeh prevented Osborne-Ricketts a sight of goal.
Mark Bell was denied by Warrell before North Leigh made it 2-0, though there was an element of fortune, Matt Fessy putting through his own net as he tried to clear.
City were struggling to put any moves together, while North Leigh’s slick passing and movement was terrific.
And the Division 1 South & West side grabbed a third goal when substitute Ben Reardon smashed home Hopkins’s pass.
A minute later, fellow substitute John Mills slipped the ball to Hole, who made no mistake from inside the area for 4-0 with a rocket shot.
The roles were reversed five minutes later when Mills headed Hole’s right-wing cross past McLoughlin to complete the rout.
City never gave up trying, but by the end it was literally men against boys as North Leigh added their name to the cup once again.
Oxford City: McLoughlin, Salkurti, Thompson, Joseph, Beer, Fessy, Palfreyman (Smith h-t), O’Connell (Gallacher 65), Barcelos (Woodley (h-t), Bell, West. Subs not used: Lewis, Mooney.
North Leigh: Warrell, Hole, Organ, Clark (Burnell 75), Franklin, Caton, Sanders, Bowles (Reardon 70), Williams (Mills 58), Osborne-Ricketts, Hopkins. Sub not used: Parish.
Referee: D Leach (Oxon).
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