Oxford MailFOOTBALL: Ballard bound for City return (From Oxford Mail)

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FOOTBALL: Ballard bound for City return

Oxford Mail: Andy Ballard Andy Ballard

Former Oxford City midfielder Andy Ballard is set to rejoin the British Gas Business Southern League side from Blue Square Premier outfit Eastbourne Borough.

The 23-year-old could make his return debut in Tuesday night’s Premier Division trip to Yate Town.

He left City in 2005 to join Slough Town and signed for Abingdon United in June 2006.

In 2007, the Oxford-born player signed for the Sussex club after a successful trial and last season helped them to go up from Blue Square South.

But this season his appearances have been limited and he has been on loan at Ryman League Premier Division Hastings United, for whom he has made 12 appearances this season, scoring two goals.

“I have kept in contact with Andy since he went to Eastbourne,” said City player manager Justin Merritt.

“He’s coming back to Oxford in the summer and was keen to fix himself up with a club. Andy approached me about coming here.”

“He’s a very powerful and competitive player. He knows the level we are playing in and has good experience, having gained promotion with Eastbourne.

“He’s also a nice lad and a good character.

“It will increase competition for places.

“The great thing about Andy is he can play in a variety of positions. He favours playing in the full back positions, but he can also play in midfield.”

Meanwhile, skipper James Saulsbury has joined Div-ision 1 Midlands side Ayles-bury on a month’s loan.

Winger Jon Gardner and centre back Steve Jackman have been released, while midfielder George Redknap is also set to go.

Oxford United legend Alan Judge is added to the squad for the trip to Yate after Milan Barisic was injured during Saturday’s defeat by Swindon Supermarine.

With Ryan Harrison out with a groin injury, City were without keeper cover.

City are already without James Faulkner, who is suspended, while Craig Faulcon-bridge and Liam Malone are unavailable.

Banbury United face a trip to Tiverton Town.

TUESDAY NIGHT'S SQUADS

Oxford City (vs Yate Tn, away): from Judge, Christon, Davis, Gunn, Pond, Gulliver, Bell, Savage, Baird, Brooks, Lyon, Ballard.

Banbury Utd (v Tiverton, away): from Wheeler, Stringfellow, Kinch, Essex, Bennett, Stanbridge, Travers, Sc Bridges, Forinton, Gordon, St Bridges, Bryan, Peppiatt, Robinson, Howkins, Sambrook.

WITNEY United have been handed a home draw against United Counties League side Buckingham Town in the FA Vase third round on Saturday, December 6.

Hook Norton will host Toolstation Western League side Willand Rovers, if they win at VTFC in Tuesday night’s second round replay.

Hook Norton: from Dixon, Cramond, Ridley, Hastie, Szczukiewicz, Jackson, Fitton, Pearman, Coleman, Standen, Keenan, Johnson, Harris, Moulder, Feaver, Milner, Cliffe.

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