FOOTBALL: Buoyant City rocked by Pond blow

Liam Malone (right) was praised by Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt after the win at Hyde United

Liam Malone (right) was praised by Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt after the win at Hyde United

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

Oxford City skipper Darren Pond faces several weeks on the sidelines with a hip injury.

Pond suffered the blow in City’s 1-0 opening-day win at Hyde United in Vanarama Conference North on Saturday.

The first game he will miss is the clash with Worcester City at Marsh Lane tonight when general manager Justin Merritt will be looking for a repeat result.

City were forced to defend with ten men for an hour at Hyde after Darren Mullings was sent off.

And Merritt said: “It didn’t go as we envisaged, but it was pleasing to come away with a victory.”

However, he was less happy with Mullings’ dismissal.

He added: “I thought a yellow card would have been a bit harsh, so I was very disappointed with the decision – it was a soft sending off, but our players accepted it and got on with it. Ten minutes later, Darren limped off.

“Situations like these can be character-building and hopefully the guys can take a lot of confidence from it.

“Liam Malone (who replaced Pond) did exceptionally well. It just shows the importance of having a good-sized squad. Having 11 good players is not enough.”

Banbury United boss Edwin Stein is backing his Southern League Premier Division side to bounce back at home to Hitchin Town.

Despite a 1-0 loss to Poole Town, Stein saw many positives in the Puritans’ display.

“I thought we played well, but we weren’t brave enough in the final third,” he said.

Banbury could give debuts to former Oxford City winger Jacob Walcott and ex-Spurs youth player Victor Zapata.

TONIGHT’S SQUADS 

Oxford City (v Worcester City, home): from Scott, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Malone, Lapoujade Garde, Green, Wilson, Mullings, Yussuf, Rodriguez, del Alamo, Barcelos, Winters, Brown, Hernandez.

Banbury Utd (v Hitchin Tn, home): from Nuamah, Cray, Strafford, Mzungwana, Westbrook, Murombedzi, Abrahams, Evangelinos, Green, Martin, Masri, Adekunie, Osyemi, Browne, Oke, Vincent-Young.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match at Hartlepool?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:37pm Saturday 20th December 2014

Hartlepool Utd 1 (Ironside 53), Oxford Utd 1 (Hylton 65)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:00pm Saturday 20th December 2014

DANNY Hylton ended his barren run in front of goal as Oxford United came from behind to earn a point against Hartlepool United.

Updates - Hartlepool Utd V Oxford Utd

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 20th December 2014

All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash at Hartlepool United.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton is weighing up his striking options

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Michael Appleton’s main selection decision for Oxford United today is picking who leads the line against Hartlepool.

RUGBY: Nathan Morris hoping to get chance to pit his wits against the best

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

LONDON Welsh replacement hooker Nathan Morris is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against some of the best in the game when they travel to Saracens today, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

TABLE TENNIS: In-form duo maintain relentless title battle

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

Forum A and Holton A kept up their battle for the Division 1 crown, as they both hit an incredible 32 points apiece in the latest round of matches.

ANGLING: Paul Brant quick out of the blocks to land shield

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Paul Brant struck early to win Littlemore AS’s Christmas Shield fished by 14 on the River Thames at Sandford.

CRICKET: Imran Hussain shines for Ruscote

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Imran Hussain helped Ruscote to a four-run win against Chipping Norton in Division 2 of the Banbury Indoor League.

BOXING: Ashley Banks cashes in to capture national title

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Banbury BC lightweight Ashley Banks was crowned England junior novice champion after a unanimous points win against Rahul Gondalia (Karmand BC, Bradford) in the final.

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