Oxford City returned to Vanarama National League South action with a 1-1 draw at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough, WRITES GEORGE RICKWOOD.

The hosts played with ten men for more than an hour, thanks to Canice Carroll’s red card shortly after Joe Iaciofano’s opener.

City defended impressively but could not hold on, David Fisher equalising nine minutes after the break.

David Oldfield's side were a little slow out of the blocks, with a Jerome Slew effort forcing a sharp save from Ben Dudzinski soon after kick-off.

They quickly got in their stride and Zac McEachran slipped Nana Owusu in, only for Alan Julian to make an impressive stop of his own.

The hosts made the breakthrough after 23 minutes, Dan Matzusaka dribbling down the right and sliding the ball into the path of Iaciofano to find the net with an assured finish.

City’s joy was short-lived however, as a late challenge from former Oxford United man Carroll on Ben Shroll was deemed worthy of a straight red – the midfielder’s immediate apology suggested he knew he was in trouble.

The hosts managed to nullify Hampton and Richmond’s attack for the rest of the half, but Oldfield’s men still had a mountain to climb to get the three points.

Their opponents came out firing in the second half, with chances aplenty, culminating in the equaliser on 53 minutes.

Fisher jinked inside a Josh Ashby challenge and found the bottom corner past Dudzinski.

Oldfield brought on Jacob Bancroft and Harvey Bradbury, viewing attack as the best form of defence.

One counter led to Bancroft beating two players down the left, before forcing Julian to tip an effort round the post.

The visitors had the best chance late on, as Slew’s header was brilliantly kept out by Dudzinski.

In the circumstances, it was not a bad point for City, they will look to get back to winning ways away at Hemel Hempstead on Saturday.

BANBURY United beat St Ives Town 5-1 to go second in Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

Chris Wreh’s double and goals from Harry Reilly, Connor Roberts and Theo Rowe saw the Puritans make it ten games unbeaten.

In Division 1 Central, North Leigh lost 2-1 to Barton Rovers as they suffered back-to-back home defeats, Jordan Thomas scoring.

Ryan Blake’s double and a Dan West strike saw Thame United beat Winchester City 3-2 in the Buildbase FA Trophy first qualifying round, while Ryan Knight’s goal could not stop Wantage Town going down 2-1 to Willand Rovers.