10:00am Friday 4th October 2013
By Nick Farrant
Oxford City boss Mike Ford could hand former Burton Albion midfielder Chris Palmer a debut when his side host Stalybridge Celtic in Skrill North at Marsh Lane tomorrow.
Palmer, 29, who was released by the Brewers in March, has joined City on a short-term contract after returning from a spell at Waitakere United in New Zealand.
Ford said he was delighted with the capture of the former Derby County trainee, who goes straight into the squad to face the 11th-placed visitors.
“I have been looking to bolster the squad and Chris will be ideal,” he said.
“Some people might say after our first win last week (a 1-0 FA Cup victory at home to Maidenhead United), that we have cracked it.
“Well, we haven’t and we have brought in a player of real quality in Chris, who has signed a short-term deal until Christmas.” After leaving Derby in 2004, Palmer joined Notts County before moving to Wycombe.
He later had spells at Walsall and Gillingham before joining Burton in 2011, where he made 49 appearances, scoring five goals.
“We have brought in Marvin Robinson and with Chris joining we have got real competition for places,” said Ford.
“James Clifton was left out against Maidenhead and Declan Benjamin came in and did great at right back.
“So he’ll start again on Saturday and if James wants his place back, he’s going to have to work really hard in training.”
Ford added: “We were professional against Maidenhead and showed real desire.
“We now have to grind out another win against Stalybridge.”
City give late fitness tests to Robinson (hamstring) and Andy Ballard (knee).
Oxford City (v Stalybridge Celtic, home): from Francoz, Clifton, Stone-house, Pond, Henderson, Willmott, Williams, Malone, Symons, McNish, Winters, Cook, Benjamin, Learoyd, Basham, Scott, Robinson, Palmer, Ballard.
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