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Cook leaves it late but City finally get off mark
10:10am Monday 30th September 2013 in Football
AN 86th-minute headed goal from Jamie Cook gave Oxford City their first win of the season as they beat Maidenhead United 1-0 in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
City edged what had been a battle of attrition at Marsh Lane, but it needed a moment of quality from Cook to separate the two sides and prevent a replay.
The home side could have taken the lead early on when Chris Willmott rose highest to meet a lofted Darren Pond free-kick only to see his effort drift wide of a post.
Maidenhead were looking dangerous on the counter, with pacy trio Tony Mendy, Michael Malcolm and Reece Tison-Lascaris causing the City defence plenty of problems.
However, it was midfielder Adrian Clifton who came closest to getting on the scoresheet for the visitors, creating space on the edge of the penalty area before shooting just over.
But the best chance of the half fell to Lee Henderson, who came inches away from opening his goalscoring account for City when he headed against a post from a corner.
Henderson was proving a useful outlet from set-pieces for the home side and he was again the target after the break when he headed over from a corner.
City began to establish control in the second half, but they were nearly undone on the hour mark when Danny Green broke free and cut back for Mendy, who shot straight at goalkeeper Victor Francoz.
But City began to press as the match neared its conclusion, with Tom Winters picking out Cook with a beautiful cross from the corner after chasing down a loose ball.
But the striker was just unable to stretch out enough to direct his header on target, despite having lost his marker well.
That should have been a warning for the visitors, but Cook was again able to escape his marker four minutes from time after an excellent passing move on the left flank resulted in a dangerous cross from substitute Steve Basham.
This time Cook was able to make a good connection, directing his header into the corner of the Maidenhead net and leaving goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins with no chance.
Oxford City: Francoz, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Malone, Henderson, Willmott, McNish, Pond, Symons (Basham HT), Cook, Winters. Subs not used: Learoyd, Robinson, Clifton, Scott, Ballard.
Ref: A Quelch.
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