A BRACE from Vanarama National League top scorer Marcus Dinanga condemned Oxford City to a second defeat on the spin.

Dinanga gave away side Gateshead the lead just after the midway point of the first half with a close-range finish from a corner, and then doubled his tally with a near post flick shortly before the hour mark.

Greg Olley added a third goal in the final 20 minutes when he capitalised on some sloppy Hoops defending, before Connor McBride put the icing on the Gateshead cake in stoppage time when he finished off a flowing move.

City head coach Ross Jenkins made four changes to the side beaten 4-0 at Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

Aaron Williams-Bushell, Zac McEachran and Olly Sanderson dropped to the bench, while Latrell Humphrey-Ewers wasn’t included in the matchday squad.

Into the starting line-up for that quartet were Nya Kirby, Alfie Potter, Pierre Fonkeu and Josh Parker.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal youth player Renny Smith, whose signing was announced shortly before kick-off, was named on the bench.

The first chance of the evening came after four minutes when former Hoops and Oxford United defender Kyran Lofthouse – on loan from Sky Bet League One side Barnsley – found space in behind, but his rising effort from the right channel of the penalty area was touched over the crossbar by Chris Haigh.

Minutes later at the other end of the pitch, Andre Burley saw a thumping header from a corner cleared off the line.

With quarter of an hour on the clock, a brilliant defence-splitting pass by Kenton Richardson sent Dinanga through on goal, however his lobbed effort over Haigh sailed above the goalkeeper’s crossbar.

A clever move which began with Lofthouse waltzing past Lewis Coyle then resulted in the impressive Ed Francis firing a shot high over the bar from 25 yards.

The visitors made their increasing pressure pay on 26 minutes when Dinanga scrambled home from close range following a well-worked corner.

Canice Carroll then had to be alert to get across and throw himself in front of a Lofthouse effort aimed towards the near post.

With a minute to go until the break, Dinanga thought he had doubled his tally and his side’s advantage after another Richardson pass which cut through the Hoops backline.

Thankfully for the hosts, Dinanga was flagged offside as he stroked the ball into the corner and past Haigh.

Gateshead skipper Olley then sent a shot wide of the far post after working a good position in the right channel of the area, as the away team ended the first half with a flourish.

The opening stages of the second period passed by without major incident, but that all changed 12 minutes in when Dinanga netted his second goal of the night with a smart finish at the near post after a low cross from the right-hand side.

Jenkins then made his first alteration with an hour played, as Williams-Bushell replaced Tafari Moore.

The change also saw a tweak in shape as the Hoops switched to four at the back, with Burley and Coyle the full backs, and Carroll and Lewis Miccio at centre half.

Reece Fleet and Kirby sat in front of the four-man defence, with Fonkeu, Potter and Williams-Bushell behind Parker in attack.

The switch almost reaped reward instantly when Potter squeezed through down the left and brought a low save out of Archie Mair when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Sanderson then replaced Fonkeu, shortly after Stephen Wearne pinged a low shot comfortably wide of Haigh’s left-hand post.

In the hosts’ final switch of the evening, Smith came on for his debut in place of Potter, however his new team soon had a mountain to climb if they were to get anything from the game.

Moments after his introduction, a mix-up in the City defence left Olley with the simple task of forcing the ball home from a matter of yards.

As the match ticked into the final 10 minutes, Luke Hannant skipped down the left and smashed the base of the far post after cutting inside onto his right foot.

McBride, on as a substitute, made it 4-0 in stoppage time with a smart finish which came at the end of some brilliant play down the Gateshead right-hand side.

Oxford City (3-4-1-2): Haigh; Burley, Carroll, Miccio; Moore (Williams-Bushell 60), Fleet, Kirby, Coyle; Potter (Smith 71); Parker, Fonkeu (Sanderson 69).

Unused subs: Harrison, McEachran.

Booked: Fleet.

Gateshead (3-4-2-1): Mair; Richardson, Tinkler, Grayson; Lofthouse (Hunter 76), Booty, Francis, Hannant; Olley, Wearne (McBride 78); Dinanga (Rutledge 81).

Unused subs: Storey, Chadwick.

Booked: Tinkler, Booty.

Referee: Greg Rollason (Staffordshire).

Attendance: TBC (TBC visitors).