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FOOTBALL: Struggling City hit by Harrogate blitz
10:00am Monday 4th November 2013 in Football
Oxford City conceded three times in the space of seven minutes as they were beaten 3-2 at Harrogate Town in Skrill North on Saturday.
Liam Hardy scored a quick-fire brace to give the hosts a 2-0 lead midway through the second half.
But 19-year-old striker Kayden Jackson, signed on loan from Swindon Town last Thursday, pulled a goal back for City just moments after coming off the bench to make his debut.
Former Oxford United defender Shane Killock restored Harrogate’s two-goal cushion.
Tom Winters struck late on for City to set up an exciting finish, but it couldn’t stop them returning to the foot of the table.
The home side enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, but found themselves up against a stout City defence.
Goalkeeper Victor Francoz was called on to make just one save, keeping out Dale Southwell’s snapshot, while at the other end, Steve Basham fired just wide from Chris Palmer’s floated free-kick.
City started the second half brightly and could have had a penalty when substitute Marvin Robinson was felled in the box by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, but the striker was instead booked for diving.
Harrogate took the lead against the run of play after 66 minutes when Hardy turned in the box and fired into the bottom corner.
And just three minutes later they made it 2-0, Hardy striking again on the rebound after Francoz had parried Cleveland Taylor’s shot.
City introduced Jackson for his debut and he made an instant impact, pulling a goal back with his first touch of the ball.
But captain Killock added a third for Harrogate just moments later with a beautiful curling free-kick.
Both sides had chances as the game remained an open contest, Chris Hall seeing his header cleared off the line at one end, while Winters struck the bar at the other.
Winters did finally pull another goal back for City in the 89th minute, finding the net from the left wing to set up a frantic final few minutes as City threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser.
There was still time for one final chance, but when the ball fell to Jamie Cook in front of goal deep into stoppage time his effort came back off a post as City had slipped to another defeat.
Oxford City: Francoz, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Malone, Henderson, Willmott, Palmer (Cook 77), Pook (Jackson 69), Basham (Robinson H-T), Pond, Winters. Subs not used: Learoyd, Ballard.
Referee: P Davison.
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