FOOTBALL: Points deduction puts big dent in City survival bid

The Oxford Times: Liam Malone played while he was suspended Liam Malone played while he was suspended

Oxford City’s hopes of Skrill North survival have been dealt a severe blow after they were deducted three points for fielding a suspended player, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Midfielder Liam Malone played 69 minutes of City’s 2-0 victory at fellow strugglers Worcester City on December 8 while banned for picking up five bookings.

As a result, City have been automatically docked the three points earned from the match – one of just five wins for the Marsh Lane outfit this season.

Manager Mike Ford had been aware of the situation for some time and said it was important to put it behind them as quickly as possible.

“I’ve known about the possibility of a points deduction since the day after the Worcester City game,” he said.

“The players had a feeling that something was up and I confirmed it with them about a month ago, so it’s been hanging over us for a while now.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a clerical error from the club, it’s in the past and there’s nothing we can do about it now, so we just have to move on.”

The deduction leaves City second from bottom and seven points from safety.

They have an immediate opportunity to regain those lost points when they travel to basement side Workington tonight with a full squad of players to choose from.

Ford added: “It’s been a fantastic effort from all of them to get the time off work and it really shows their commitment that they all want to play and be involved.”

Oxford City: from Scott, Ballard, Stonehouse, Pook, Learoyd, Willmott, Benjamin, McNish, Malone, Symons, Pond, Winters, Basham, Cook, Bell, Henderson, West, Jackson, Akubuine, McEachran.

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