Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division play-off semi-final
Oxford City 1 (Willmott 72), Cambridge City 0
CHRIS Willmott scored the winner as Oxford City booked their place in the play-off final with a hard-fought victory against Cambridge City at Court Place Farm tonight.
Willmott, who passed a late fitness test on an ankle injury, was the hero, smashing in the second-half winner to set up a home clash with AFC Totton in Monday’s final.
City had started on the back foot, with Lee Clift blasting a shot horribly over the bar.
At the other end, Willmott saw his header held by Zac Barrett in the Cambridge goal.
Minutes later his opposite number, Jason Mooney, saved Mitchell Bryant’s powerful shot, then got down well to hold onto a header from Dave Theobald.
Winger Clift’s pace was causing City’s defence problems down the left, but they defended well, with Willmott in outstanding form.
Liam Malone thought he had fired City ahead on 33 minutes, but his effort, after a fine run into the area, was flagged off-side.
Barrett then made a super save to keep out Declan Benjamin’s thunderous 25-yard shot.
After the break, City striker Steve Basham saw his header from Malone’s cross hit the top of the bar, before Benjamin’s shot fizzed over.
The hosts were keeping up the pressure, with Marvin Martin’s long-range effort going narrowly wide of Barrett’s right-hand post.
A superb jinking run from Declan Benjamin almost brought the opener, only for his shot to hit the side-netting.
On 72 minutes, Willmott smas-hed home a superb pass from Basham for the winner after Cambridge failed to deal with a corner.
Mooney then made a spectacular full-length save to keep out Clift’s superbly-struck 30-yard shot.
City brought on Aaron Woodley for Felipe Barcelos. And he almost made an instant impact, just failing to reach Kynan Isaac’s cross.
Basham nearly made it 2-0, but his shot went wide of the far post.
Bryant should have levelled , but fired his effort over the bar as City held on for victory.
Oxford City: Mooney, Martin (Skendi 69), Learoyd, Ballard, Malone, Willmott, Lyon, Benjamin, Basham, Barcelos (Woodley), Isaac. Subs not used: Blossom, McLoughlin, Bell.
Cambridge City: Barrett, Bexfield, Chaffey, Theobald, Tafazolli, Nightingale, Midgley, Prada, Hammond (Bradbury h-t), Bryant, Clift. Subs: Islam, Forsythe, Torres, Patterson.