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.

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Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

MICHAEL Appleton has challenged his Oxford United squad to banish their relegation concerns for good with a strong showing over the Easter weekend.

RUGBY UNION: Tears of joy as Grove clinch first Oxfordshire crown

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Thursday 2nd April 2015

HEAD coach Craig Burrows struggled for words after Grove were crowned Oxfordshire champions for the first time in their 43-year history.

CRICKET: Five handed first-class debuts in Worcestershire clash

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 2nd April 2015

OXFORD MCC Universities give first-class debuts to five players in their opening three-day game of the season against Worcestershire, which gets under way in The Parks today (11am).

FOOTBALL: Oxford City put up new stand to meet play-off rules

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Thursday 2nd April 2015

A NEW stand will be used for the first time when Oxford City host Boston United at Marsh Lane on Saturday.

RUGBY UNION: Dark Blues skipper aims for place in history books

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

NEW captain George Messum has pledged to dedicate himself to making history at Oxford University.

RACING: Coneygree to parade at Lambourn Open Day

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

Coneygree, the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, is to parade at the Betfair Lambourn Open Day tomorrow.

RUGBY UNION: Chinnor youngsters enjoy double success

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

CHINNOR’s Under 15 and 17 sides are celebrating after both teams won silverware on Sunday.

BAR BILLIARDS: Didcot put the Vikings to the sword

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

7:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

DIDCOT Conservative Club lead Section 1 of the Johnsons Buildbase Oxford League by one point, with a game in hand.

ATHLETICS: James Bolton leaves field behind to win first White Horse Half Marathon crown

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 2nd April 2015

WOODSTOCK Harriers’ James Bolton continued his impressive form by storming to victory at the White Horse Half Marathon in Grove.

BOWLS: Martin Shepherd sparkles to land third Oxfordshire title

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

CHIPPING Norton’s Martin Shepherd won his third Oxfordshire indoor singles title with a 22-14 victory over clubmate John Cox in the final at Oxford City & County.

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