Bath City (0)1 Oxford City (1)1

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Bath City (0)1 Oxford City (1)1

Post by Kelston Koppite on Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:14 pm

A late goal from substitute Marvin Morgan salvaged a draw for Bath City from their FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round encounter with Oxford City at Twerton Park.  Gary Owers’ side had trailed their opponents since the 44th minute, and also had to endure a lengthy interruption to proceedings when the referee, Mr. Marc Whaley, was forced to withdraw from the game with an injury midway through the second half.

The hosts almost took the lead in the 2nd minute when Naby Diallo’s neat ball put Nick McCootie through on goal, but the striker was stopped in his tracks by an ankle tap from Godfrey Poku on the edge of the box, the defender somehow escaping with a yellow card.  Diallo’s low curling shot from the resulting free kick was narrowly wide of the far post.

Oxford, who had triumphed in the league game at the same venue eleven days earlier, showed that they had taken confidence from that result and began to take control of midfield possession.  Scott Davies sent in a cross from the right on 8 minutes that was met by Jonny Giles, only for Jack Batten to block his shot with a well-timed intervention.

McCootie broke clear of the Oxford defence again in the 13th minute, but he was unable to take the ball round visiting keeper, Jack Stevens, and appeals for a penalty were waved away as the forward tumbled to the deck under Freddie Grant's challenge.  The Cityman was involved in a fracas by the right corner flag 4 minutes later when a series of heavy tackles ended with full back Grant being pushed to the ground.  After a lengthy consultation with his assistant, Mr. Whaley eventually booked the home player, who was perhaps fortunate that the card was an alternative colour.

Oxford thought they had scored after 26 minutes when Mike Fondop headed past Max O’Leary from a Davies cross, but they were denied by an offside flag.  At the other end, Stevens made a save at the foot of his post to keep out Dan Bowman’s shot from 20 yards.

The home side were finding it difficult to find any rhythm in their play, with misplaced passes a constant source of frustration, and the visitors were able to keep their hosts largely on the back foot.  

With three minutes left of the first period, Grant headed just over O’Leary’s crossbar from a left wing corner, but his side were in front right on the stroke of half time.  Davies delivered a pinpoint cross into the area from the left following another corner, and Fondop powered an unstoppable header into the far corner of the net.  

There was still time for Bowman to win possession deep in the Oxford half and find McCootie, but the striker’s shot from 18 yards was just too high.

The City manager rang the changes during the interval, introducing Marvin Morgan and Josh Hutchinson for Shaquille Hunter and Bowman respectively, as he looked for his team to take a hold on the game.  It was, however, Oxford who remained firmly in the ascendancy for the next quarter of an hour.

Fondop’s effort from 25 yards on 49 minutes found its way out of the ground high above the Bristol End goal and, ten minutes later, a long free kick into the home area was met by Robbie Cundy, but his header lacked the power and direction to trouble O’Leary.

In the 64th minute, the referee signalled to his assistant that he was unable to continue because of an injury, and there was a delay of 10 minutes until a replacement official could be found from the terraces.  

When the game eventually resumed Bath finally began to find some forward momentum and, two minutes after the restart, Billy Murphy swung a free kick into the Oxford box from the right which was met firmly by Frankie Artus.  The midfielder’s header appeared to be destined for the top corner, but Stevens pulled off a stunning diving save to claw the ball over the bar.

The hosts were now dominating possession, but were still unable to put the Oxford defence under pressure for prolonged spells, and the visitors always looked lively on the break, particularly through the pacy Giles.  

The Romans’ final substitution saw Chas Hemmings come on for Murphy with two minutes of normal time remaining and, on 90 minutes, his side found a leveller.  George Rigg sent in a telling cross from the right, and Morgan rose the highest to plant his header into the corner of the net.

As a result of the injury to Mr. Whaley, 11 minutes of added time were signalled and City now sensed that they could find a winner.  Dan Ball’s long throw-in from the left was flicked on by Hemmings, and Stevens needed to make a diving save to keep out Hutchinson’s low shot from 15 yards.

Batten had to make a brave clearing header following Davies’ raking free kick into the home box in the 99th minute, but the last chance fell to Bath.  Morgan made good ground to the by-line and pulled his cross back towards McCootie, but the ball was just behind the frontman and his effort was scooped over the crossbar.

This was a match in which City were never really able to find any fluency and it was not until the latter stages that they posed any major threat up front. Oxford seem to enjoy their visits to Twerton and their two performances at the ground have certainly belied their early season struggles elsewhere.  The Romans will, no doubt, feel relieved to still have their name ‘in the hat’ for Monday’s draw, and will look to make the most of their second chance for progression from the replay at Marsh Lane.

Bath City:  Max O’Leary, George Rigg, Dan Ball, Jack Batten, Manny Monthe, Dan Bowman (Josh Hutchinson 45), Naby Diallo, Billy Murphy (Chas Hemmings 88), Frankie Artus, Nick McCootie, Shaquille Hunter (Marvin Morgan 45), Subs not used; Stuart Fleetwood, Lee Matthews, Harry Hickford.

Oxford City;  Jack Stevens, Godfrey Poku, Freddie Grant, Josh Ashby, Lee Henderson, Robbie Cundy, Scott Davies, Reece Fleet, Mike Fondop, Martin Ofuso, Jonny Giles.  Subs; Tom Winters, Kynan Issac,  Jordy Ngathe, Shaun MacAuley, Kaylem Patterson, Tyrig Hunte.

Referee; Mr. Marc Whalley

Attendance;  482

Kelston Koppite

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Re: Bath City (0)1 Oxford City (1)1

Post by pete mac on Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:12 am

A poor disjointed performance.

We couldn't put 2 passes together for much of the game. They were tighter and efficient and dominated us in midfield.

Glad Morgan is back. He knows how to score.

I am sure we'll do better on Tuesday.

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Re: Bath City (0)1 Oxford City (1)1

Post by kermit on Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:59 am

pete mac wrote:I am sure we'll do better on Tuesday.
We will have to Pete
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