RYAN Case had a debut to forget as Oxford City lost 1-0 at home to relegation-threatened Gloucester City on Saturday.

The defender, who signed just in time to make a first appearance for his new side in the Vanarama National League South clash, was sent off four minutes before half-time for deliberate handball.

Gloucester scored from the resulting penalty to pick up a first league win since September, and seriously dent City’s play-off ambitions.

Kabongo Tshimanga spurned a great early chance for the hosts, racing clear in the seventh minute, only to fluff his finish on his weaker left foot.

Craig Fasanmade and Josh Ashby tried their luck shortly afterwards, but were unable to find the breakthrough.

The turning point of the game came in the 41st minute.

Case handled on the line, and was sent off.

To compound City’s woes, Joe Hanks stepped up to score from the penalty spot.

Despite their man disadvantage, the hosts looked to pour forward at ever opportunity after the break.

But a resilient Gloucester defence restricted them to long-range efforts, with Ashby and Udoka Godwin-Malife going close.

Tshimanga shot narrowly wide as City turned up the pressure in the latter stages.

City’s top-scorer then forced a good save from Jojo Wollacott.

Gloucester almost doubled their advantage late on, but Ryan Lowe shot straight at Craig King as the visitors enjoyed a rare attack.

But City were unable to find an equaliser and dropped to 13th as a result.

Oxford City: King, Jones, Case, Ashby (Self 71), Godwin-Malife, Oastler, Fasanmade, Fleet, Tshimanga, McEachran, Wiltshire (Bowling 71). Subs not used: Grantham, Carter, Barrett.

Attendance: 313.