OXFORD City boss Mark Jones says everyone at the club is fully aware of the importance of a good Emirates FA Cup run.

However, while tomorrow’s second qualifying round match at home to Oxfordshire rivals North Leigh looks an ideal chance to progress, Jones says nobody will be taking anything for granted.

City have reached the first round proper in each of the last two seasons, receiving an additional financial boost by having televised matches both years.

“We’ve obviously enjoyed our FA Cup runs in the last couple of years and go into this hoping it is the start of another good run,” he said.

“We know we will go into the game as favourites, but equally, we are well aware of what could happen.

“Most of the North Leigh team have played at a higher level.”

He added: “The financial incentives in this competition are massive to clubs at our level – and that prize money has just increased again – so for both clubs it’s a massive game.”

Jones is wary, however, of the threat posed by tomorrow’s rivals.

“Local derbies are always tasty affairs, and this will prove no different, particularly with what is up for grabs,” he said.

“We will certainly be giving North Leigh every respect – they deserve that as they’ve had a decent start, so we will need to be fully on our game.”

City could give a debut to pacy striker Ty-Rhys Paul-Jones after his international clearance finally came through.

But Jones will have to make a late call on his goalkeeper, with Harry Isted not cleared to play by parent club Luton, and Craig King still struggling with a knee injury.

Eddie Jones (groin) is a big doubt, while Zac McEachran is struggling with his recurring knee problem.

North Leigh welcome back George Seacole after the striker missed last week’s defeat to Bedford to attend a wedding.

Ben Brown also returns, while joint boss Craig Dore is set to give a debut to new signing Shaquille Ishmail, a striker who has previous experience at National League outfit Boreham Wood.

Dore said: “Shaquille comes to the club with some pedigree. He’s Tyriq Hunte’s cousin, and will add a bit of quality to our front line.

“We’re really looking forward to testing ourselves against City. It’s not a game we are expected to win, so the pressure is off us.

“We were very poor against Bedford last week, but we’ve had an honest chat in the week about what we did wrong and the boys are buzzing for the game.”

Kidlington will have their work cut out when they entertain Vanarama National League North outfit Gloucester City.

Julian McCalmon’s side have never got past this stage before, and although they are outsiders, the hosts are hoping for a bold show.

“It’s in matches like these the players can raise their game,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a David and Goliath situation with Gloucester being two league above us.

“However, on the day it’s 11v11 and if we can bring our A+ game to the table, who knows.”

Elliott Osborne-Ricketts and Jacob Blackstock are absent, but Kidlington are boosted by the return of Tommy Castle, Josh Tooke and Leam Howards.


Oxford City (v North Leigh, home) from King, Jones, Jefford, Ashby, Moore-Azille, Oastler, Fleet, Brown, McEachran, Owusu, Self, Fasanmade, Wiltshire, Tapp, Caro, Wright, Beckles-Richards, Paul-Jones.

North Leigh (v Oxford City, away): from Cavanagh, Learoyd, Gunn, Ngathe, H Grant, McNish, Williams, A Woodley, Hunte, Gillett, Alexis, Elliott, James, A Grant, Seacole, Ishmail, Dutton-Black.

Kidlington (v Gloucester City, home): from Lawrence, Smith, Flanagan, West, Martin, Gabbidon, Coyle, Castle, Benjamin, Patterson, Howards, Willoughby, Williams, Singh, Tooke, Quaterman, Jordan, Martei, Peart.