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FOOTBALL: Pond bags leveller as gutsy City hold high-fliers to draw
10:00am Monday 16th September 2013 in Football
Darren Pond scored a penalty equaliser as Oxford City fought back from 2-0 down to take a point from the leaders Altrincham in a thrilling Skrill North game at Moss Lane on Saturday.
The result saw Mike Ford’s men stay second from bottom of the table and saw Altrincham lose top-spot.
City were left with a mountain to climb midway through the first half, thanks to goals from James Walshaw and Simon Richman, before gaining a foothold when Scott Leather headed into his own net.
Midfielder Darren Pond scored a deserved equaliser for City from the penalty spot in the second half.
There had been little to separate the two sides when Walshaw gave the hosts the lead after 16 minutes.
He hammered a rebound into the roof of the net past Victor Francoz, who was making his debut in the City goal, after good work from Nicky Clee on the left wing.
Five minutes later, it got worse for City when Altrincham scored a second goal.
Jake Moult’s wayward shot appeared harmless, but when the City defence failed to clear the danger Richman pounced at the back post to double Altrincham’s lead with a shot past Francoz.
But the two-goal deficit didn’t last long as City were gifted a route back into the match when Robins defender Leather headed in as he attempted to clear Tom Winters’ dangerous curling free-kick.
The hosts’ captain Shaun Densmore went close to restoring the home side’s two-goal cushion when his powerful free-kick struck the bar just after half-time.
But the second half belonged to City as Chris Wilmott and Mike Symons both went close to finding a leveller for the visitors.
And their good work was finally rewarded just after the hour mark when Liam Malone was tripped in the box by Gianluca Havern.
Pond stepped up to take the penalty and left keeper Stuart Coburn with no chance as he fired it straight down the middle.
Altrincham became increasingly frustrated in the closing stages as their search for a winning goal fell flat and City were able to comfortably see the game out and claim an impressive point.
Oxford City: Francoz, Clifton, Stonehouse, Ballard, Henderson, Wilmott, Williams (Benjamin 59), Malone, Symons, Pond (McNish 84), Winters. Subs (not used): Basham, Learoyd, Scott Referee: Paul Marsden.
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