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FOOTBALL: City survival hopes hit by defeat at Workington

City boss Mike Ford

City boss Mike Ford

First published in Non League

OXFORD City’s hopes of avoiding the drop from Skrill North suffered a big blow last night when they went down 1-0 away to the bottom club Workington.

The defeat came just a day after the club were docked three points for fielding a player while suspended, which saw them drop a place to second from bottom.

Manager Mike Ford is under no illusions about the task facing his side.

He said: “I honestly think it will be my biggest achievement in football if I can keep Oxford City in this division.

“I remember when I was at Oxford United and we survived relegation on the last day of the season at Tranmere it felt like a huge achievement for us and it’s a similar situation here.

“It’s a real big ask for the players, but I know they have the character and that they’re good enough to do it.

“Staying in this division would be a real success for this club and I know I’ve got the players to do it.”

It might have been very different last night if Declan Benjamin had scored with a volley from just inside his own half in the very first minute.

He spotted Workington keeper Jonny Jamieson off the line, but the ball sailed just wide.

Kyle May went close from a Ben McKenna corner, but the home side were ahead on 24 minutes when McKenna’s drive found the net.

Steve Basham just failed to connect with a Paul Stonehouse cross before the break, but it didn’t get much better for City in the second half.

Valter Fernandes shaved the City bar and David Lynch also went close to a second for Workington.

A long-range effort from Jamie Cook and a tame shot from Darren Pond that was comfortably held by Jamieson was the best City could offer.

Oxford City: Scott, Akubuine (Ballard 64), Stonehouse, Pook, Learoyd, Willmott, Benjamin (Cook 45), McNish, Basham (Hodfa 61), Pond, Winters. Subs not used: Henderson, Jackson.

Referee: A Miller.

Attendance: 336.

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