OXFORD City interim manager Andy Ballard is confident his side will put their Emirates FA Cup disappointment behind them at Chelmsford City tomorrow.

The 5-1 first-round defeat at home to Solihull was deflating, with Ballard feeling they simply did not turn up.

But after a positive week of training, Ballard believes they are ready to go again as they bid to extend their unbeaten Vanarama National League South run to four matches.

Ballard said: “Last weekend was hugely disappointing, but it was a free hit in our view. We have been on a decent run, so we need to get ourselves back on track quickly.

“Chelmsford are a tough and physical side, but if we play like we have done in the three games in the

lead-up to the FA Cup, we have a good chance.

“They’re a team that are above us in the league, so they will obviously be firm favourites, especially being at home.

“But being underdogs will suit us, we’ve had good away performances at Dorking Wanderers and Tonbridge Angels.”

City will be without Finn Tapp and Eddie Jones, who serve one-match bans, but Elliot Benyon returns after being cup-tied.

Ballard added: “We are focusing fully on the league.

“We know we didn’t play anywhere near well enough last week, but we’ve trained well in the week and we know what our strengths are.

“We have a rough idea of how Chelmsford will set up, and first and foremost, we must show the heart and desire to win the game, which I know we have.

“If we can continue a decent run up until Christmas, we will be looking at the top half of the table.

“Historically in the last few years, we’ve made poor starts to the season but finished well, and so hopefully we can achieve that again.”


Oxford City (v Chelmsford City, away): from King, Jefford, Ashby, Oastler, Wiltshire, Fleet, McEachran, Brown, Owusu, Moore-Azille, Benyon, Self, Rowe, Wright, Fasanmade.