JAMES Roberts scored twice as Oxford City staged a second-half comeback to start 2021 with a 3-1 win at Billericay Town.

The visitors had not played for more than three weeks - and isolated for ten days in that period - but fully deserved the victory.

Luke Wanadio gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at the break, before Zac McEachran equalised and Roberts made the game safe.

The win saw David Oldfield’s side rise to eighth in Vanarama National League South, a point and a place outside the play-offs.

City could have been forgiven for being a little rusty after their time away, but they started brightly.

Roberts latched onto a loose pass from the Billericay defence eight minutes in, but he snatched at the shot and the ball flew past the post.

The hosts were sloppy again 180 seconds later, conceding an indirect free-kick inside their own penalty area from a backpass.

Reece Fleet stepped up, but smashed the effort over the bar.

The hosts made their opponents pay on 25 minutes, Wanadio picking out the bottom corner.

City continued to probe despite the setback and McEachran looked to beat Dion-Curtis Henry with a curling shot that was tipped over.

As half-time drew nearer the visitors could scarcely have come closer – twice.

Nana Owusu crashed a shot against the bar three minutes before the break, before crossing for Elliot Benyon to fire home, only for the linesman to raise the offside flag.

It meant City began the second half behind, but within nine minutes they were level.

Benyon’s effort was blocked, only for the rebound to fall to McEachran, who found the target.

The midfielder hit the outside of the post three minutes later after pouncing on another loose ball, but Billericay fired a warning shot when Jake Robinson headed Wanadio’s cross wide from close range.

Roberts was not so wasteful with 18 minutes left, as Fleet floated a cross into the middle and the former Oxford United man headed home.

City were ahead for the first time and the same player doubled the lead nine minutes from time.

Goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski launched a long ball upfield and Roberts collected, before turning sharply and firing home.