FOOTBALL: Gritty City dig in for victory
10:00am Monday 11th February 2013 in Football
Oxford City made it seven points from their last three games with a 2-1 victory away at Workington in Blue Square Bet North on Saturday.
Mark Bell opened the scoring, with Ashan Holgate netting his first goal for City to give them a 2-0 lead.
Jonny Wright then pulled a goal back for the hosts five minutes from time.
It was a professional and workmanlike performance from City, but they started the game on the back foot as Workington carved out a good number of chances.
Visiting goalkeeper Matt Ingram was called into action in the opening minutes to smother the ball at the feet of the onrushing Wright after Joe McGee flicked the ball into his path.
And the City defence was again stretched when McGee robbed Nick Stanley before delivering a dangerous ball for Gareth Arnison, but he missed his header and City were able to scramble the ball away.
Ingram did well to hold a well-struck free-kick from Gary Rowntree after a foul on the edge of the area and there was another worrying moment for City after Rowntree's deflected shot was headed over the bar for a corner.
But City looked dangerous on the counter-attack with Holgate’s strength and Bell’s pace proving a good outlet.
And it was Bell who put the visitors ahead against the run of play, receiving the ball on the right-hand side before cutting inside and firing off a shot which took a wicked deflection to sneak into the corner of the net.
Holgate doubled the lead early in the second half after an incisive pass from Darren Pond set him free and he showed excellent composure to switch the ball onto his right foot and slide it underneath the Workington keeper from a tight angle.
City did an effective job of smothering the game for most of the second half and Workington struggled to break down a well-organised defence. But they did pull a goal back just before timewhen Wright pounced on a rebound to blast home and give the hosts hope of a comeback.
Workington pushed heavily for an equaliser in the dying moments and City were forced to do some desperate last-ditch defending during a tense six minutes of added time. But they were able to hold on to make it a happy journey home as they continued their unbeaten February.
Oxford City: Ingram, Gunn, Stonehouse, Ballard (McNish 83), Learoyd, Willmott, Bell (Mulvany 61), Pond, Holgate, Barcelos (Cook 75), Stanley. Subs not used: Barny, Glass.
Referee: M Briston.