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FOOTBALL: City high-fliers won't ease off
Oxford City boss Mike Ford says his Blue Square Bet North high-fliers cannot afford to take their foot off the gas when they travel to Southern League side Yate Town in tomorrow’s FA Cup second-qualifying round.
Ford says he will pick his strongest possible side against the Division 1 South & West basement boys.
On Tuesday, City moved fourth in the table with a 2-0 win against Corby Town and Ford says it is vital they keep up the momentum.
“We have adapted to the league in a short time really well,” said Ford.
“I think Tuesday was a typical performance by us.
“We didn’t have as much ball as Corby, but we defended well.
“With Declan (Benjamin) and Darren Pond getting the goals it means we are not relying on our strikers scoring.
“It was the best our defensive unit have played this season.
“We are quite buoyant, but this game has a nasty habit of kicking you in the wotsits.
“We will give it 100 per cent.”
Ford added: “We want to keep up the momentum and financially anything that comes our way is a bonus.
“I think if you change it around, you get a disjointed performance.
“We’ve had a fantastic start and have picked the same side for the last three games – I see no reason to chop and change.
“Yate haven’t got a point, but they have beaten two decent sides from their division in the cup.
“We have had them watched twice and will not be taking them lightly.”
Adam Learoyd replaces the suspended Chris Willmott.
Meanwhile, North Leigh boss Mark Gee hopes playing tougher pre-season opponents will give them the edge at home to Blue Square Bet South side Havant & Waterlooville.
Gee’s side took on Forest Green Rovers and Havant’s league rivals, Eastleigh.
Havant, who famously led 2-1 against Liverpool in the third round of the competition in 2008 before losing 5-2, are fifth from bottom. But Gee says form is irrelevant.
“Because we played stiffer opposition in pre-season, we know what to expect,” he said.
“They are two leagues higher than us, so they will have better quality players.
“It’s our biggest game since we played Newport when we were in the Hellenic (2004).
“We will have to be at the top of our game to get anything.”
Striker Jacob Walcott returns to the squad after being on the bench for Oxford City, with whom he is dual registered, against Corby.
Oxford City (v Yate Tn, away): from Carter, Mills, Stonehouse, Malone, Gunn, Cook, Pond, Basham, Sharif, Benjamin, Barcelos, Isaac, Learoyd, Skendi, Ballard.
North Leigh (v Havant & Waterlooville, home): from Warrell, Hole, Organ, Turk, Franklin, Caton, Walcott, Alexis, Mills, Sanders, Hopkins, Else, Deabill, Westlake, Coyle.