JOSH Ashby feels Oxford City have directed their disappointment at last season’s premature finish into this term’s promotion challenge.

The Court Place Farm outfit were fourth when the 2020/21 Vanarama National League South campaign was controversially cancelled last February, following a vote by member clubs.

City were one of several sides who wanted the season to continue, despite concerns over funding due to the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Oxford City boss reveals mindset going into tonight's play-off tie

Ashby is among a core group of players who experienced last term’s frustration, but they have put it behind them to finish in the top seven and set up tonight’s play-off eliminator against Eastbourne Borough.

City’s job is far from over, but the midfielder is delighted they have maintained their momentum.

“It was gutting to have the season taken away from us, but I think we’ve channelled that into going all year round this season,” he said.

“It would be great for us, our aim since the start has been to get in the play-offs and see what happens.

“It’s going to be tough, but as we’ve seen recently anything can happen in play-off games.

“We’ve had a couple of good FA Cup runs and got to the quarter-finals of the Trophy as well.

“Hopefully that stands us in good stead, but we’ve just got to treat it as a normal game and go from there.”

City have had some memorable days since Ashby joined permanently in summer 2018, following his release by Oxford United.

Their progression on the pitch has been matched by an upturn in home attendances, which have increased by 61 per cent since the last full season with fans in 2018/19.

READ MORE: Oxford City targeting another record crowd tonight

City expect another bumper crowd tonight and Ashby is relishing the occasion.

“It’s definitely an advantage for us,” the 26-year-old said.

“The fans have been great all season, hopefully we’ll get a big crowd.

“We’ve got a lot of people coming down so it’s a big edge for us, but on the flip side it’s nice for an away side to come and play in a good atmosphere.”

Ashby has played for three permanent managers at City, with Ross Jenkins following David Oldfield and Mark Jones.

The current head coach was part of the backroom staff under both previous bosses and the ex-United trainee has found the transition seamless.

Ashby said: “It’s been great for us, personally it’s been good for me.

“We’ve tried to do a lot more in possession, which I think suits my game and players in our team.

“It’s been great for us and there wasn’t much change, we just carried on as normal.”