Mike Ford believes that leaving striker Felipe Barcelos out could reap dividends in the long term for Oxford City’s Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division promotion charge.

The Brazilian star sat on the bench as City swept aside Arlesey Town 3-0 at Court Place Farm last Saturday.

And although City’s boss is set to name the same starting line-up for the trip to St Albans City tomorrow, he feels Barcelos can boost their challenge when he gets his chance again.

“I think sometimes that someone like Felipe has done a lot in such a short space of time,” he said.

“Now he has missed out, but between now and the end of the season I hope that can have benefits.

“If he wants to be angry with his manager for not picking him and that brings a good performance, then that is great.”

While Barcelos was a substitute last week, Wayne Blossom grabbed his chance on his first start of the year.

And Ford added: “Wayne is too good a player to be sat on my bench for a length of time.

“The reason for that was the lads had been performing particularly well.

“I thought it was the right time to bring him back. His general performance was very good, and he scored and set one up with a header.”

Now Ford is looking for more of the same at St Albans.

“We made them (Arlesey) look average and the biggest thing to me was a reminder what my team was about,” he added.

“They are about hard work and making the right decisions and there was a real gulf between the two teams.

“Now we have got to repeat that on Saturday in a game which I think will be much tougher.”

Banbury United will be without Joe Coleman and Simeon Williams for the trip to Arlesey Town.

Coleman missed Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Cambridge City after picking up a groin strain in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chippenham Town, while Williams is unavailable.

Defender Dan Chilton returns after being unavailable for the midweek win.


Oxford City (v St Albans City, away): from Mooney, Clarke, Blossom, Ballard, Pond, Willmott, Benjamin, Malone, Basham, Woodley, Martin, Lyon, Learoyd, Bell, Barcelos, McEachran.

Banbury Utd (v Arlesey Tn, away): from Kemp, Chilton, Dolman, Thackeray, Polk, Emery, Cole, Howell, Johnson, Blake, Edmond, Richardson, Kinch, Angus.