JOE Oastler admitted the manner of Oxford City’s heartbreaking defeat at Notts County in the Emirates FA Cup will take some getting over.

The Vanarama National League South side pushed their hosts, ranked 64 places above them in the football pyramid, all the way at Meadow Lane.

But with City seconds away from securing a place in the third round for the first time, Jorge Grant struck in the 95th minute to earn a 3-2 win.

Mark Jones’ side looked heartbroken at the final whistle and centre back Oastler summed up their dejection.

He said: “I think it’s one of the cruelest games I’ve been involved in.

“In the second half, I thought we were the better side.

“We’ve conceded three goals, but you can’t ask for any more from the players, the staff, anyone, we gave everything.”

Oastler added: “Everyone in the stadium probably thought we deserved a replay.

“We passed the ball well, we dominated the second half, and they were struggling.

"It looked like if anyone was going to get the third it was going to be us.

“But they’ve just pumped a ball into the box in the last minute and it can’t get any crueller than that.”

Grant dramatically fired home from close range in the second round tie after goalkeeper Jack Stevens had kept out Jonathan Forte’s header.

In a further twist to the tale, the winger, on loan from Nottingham Forest, was born in Oxfordshire and grew up in Witney.

The 22-year-old, who knows City players Zac McEachran and Freddie Grant, said: “They should be really proud of themselves.

“It’s probably a bit harsh on them, because they’ve done really well and pushed us the whole 90 minutes.

“It’s just lucky it fell my way.”