FOOTBALL: Oxford City game depends on morning pitch inspection

Mike Ford awaits a pitch inspection

Mike Ford awaits a pitch inspection

First published in Non League

Oxford City’s game against second-placed Solihull Moors in Skrill North at Marsh Lane today hinges on an 11.30am pitch inspection.

Large pools of water had to be cleared before City’s 1-0 win at home to Gloucester City on Boxing Day.

And with the pitch still saturated following the recent heavy rain, today’s fixture is in jeopardy.

City manager Mike Ford said: “I would suggest it’s 50-50.”

Reflecting on the Boxing Day match, he added: “It was a minor miracle we got the game on, and I would like to pay tribute to the merry band who worked enormously hard.

“Their efforts were rewarded with victory.”

City are now six points clear of the drop zone and Ford said the victory over Gloucester was a potentially vital result in the relegation battle.

City include a familiar face in the squad with striker Mark Bell back for a third spell.

He left the club in the summer to join Nuneaton Town in the Skrill Premier.

But after things didn’t work out for him, he is now back with City, and played for the Nomads in their 4-1 win at Kidlington on Boxing Day.

Ford said: “I want him to keep his ambition up because if he sees us as an easy get-out it is not going to happen.”

Callum McNish, a late withdrawal from City’s game against Gloucester with a back problem, returns to the squad.

Oxford City (v Solihull): from Scott, Ballard, Stonehouse, Benjamin, Learoyd, Willmott, Jackson, Malone, Symons, Pond, Winters, Pook, Cook, McNish, Bell, Henderson, Palmer, Basham.

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