FOOTBALL: Sluggish City are made to pay for a slow start

7:00am Monday 30th December 2013

Oxford City were brushed aside 2-0 by a ruthless Solihull Moors outfit in Skrill North at Marsh Lane on Saturday, despite a determined second-half showing from Mike Ford’s side.

Peter Till gave Solihull the lead in the first half and Omar Bogle made sure of the points late on as the visitors went top of the table.

City were without midfielder Chris Palmer, who has left the club, but saw Mark Bell return for his third spell, as he came off the bench late in the game.

Kick-off was delayed for ten minutes after referee Derek Eaton was taken ill during the warm-up and when the match got underway with replacement Simon Wales in charge, it was the visitors who settled more quickly.

Bogle headed over from one early move and Aron Wint headed against the post from a Junior English cross.

But Solihull could not be denied for long and took the lead in the 18th minute when Till fired in from the edge of the area.

And only the quick reflexes of Mark Scott in City’s goal prevented them going further behind kept out an acrobatic volley from English.

But having struggled to break down Solihull’s defence in the first half, City looked much more threatening after the break.

Jamie Cook drew a save from keeper Jas Singh and Adam Learoyd hit the woodwork with a powerful header shortly afterwards.

But City were unable to continue their pressure and moments after Jay Denny had fired a warning shot just wide City found themselves further behind.

Bogle broke up the right wing before cutting inside and shooting past a defenceless Scott to double Solihull’s lead.

That effectively ended City's challenge, though they continued to press forward without reward.

Tom Winters saw his dangerous effort blocked on the line late on but City were unable to claim even a consolation.

Oxford City: Scott, Ballard, Stonehouse, McNish (Henderson 64), Learoyd, Willmott (Benjamin 77), Jackson (Bell 77), Malone, Cook, Pond, Winters.

Subs not used: Francoz, Pook.

Referee: S Wales.

Attendance: 297.

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