FOOTBALL: Shot-shy City made to pay by clinical leaders

The Oxford Times: Oxford City's Zac McEachran sees his shot saved in the 4-0 defeat at Telford United on Saturday Oxford City's Zac McEachran sees his shot saved in the 4-0 defeat at Telford United on Saturday

A disastrous first-half mauling saw Oxford City slip to a 4-0 defeat at Skrill North leaders Telford United on Saturday.

City’s hopes of building on Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Histon were quickly banished as the hosts put four goals past a hapless City in the opening 45 minutes.

Shaun Whalley struck twice alongside goals from Adam Farrell and Andy Owens.

Telford made an explosive start to the game, putting the City defence under immediate pressure.

It took just 12 minutes for the pressure to tell as Mark Preece’s careless pass was intercepted by Whalley, who fired past Matt-hew Bulman in the City goal.

They doubled the lead six minutes later when Farrell broke free on the left before crossing for Owens to tap in.

Left with a mountain to climb City rallied, introducing striker Zac McEachran in search of route back into the game.

McEachran had City’s best chance of the half, bundling through the Telford defence, but shooting against the legs of home goalkeeper Ryan Young.

But the opening half ended as disastrously as it had begun with City conceding twice more in the space of two minutes.

Whalley netted his second after 40 minutes, collecting the ball in space before cutting inside and curling his effort past Bulman’s outstretched fingers.

And Whalley caused havoc again just a minute later, latching onto a poor backpass to break clear before being pulled down by Bulman, who was lucky not to see red for the foul.

Farrell dispatched the resulting penalty with ease to put the finishing touches to a miserable first half for City.

The visitors were much stronger after the break, but never looked likely to pull a goal back.

Substitute Tony Gray had two opportunities to extend the home side’s lead further, seeing them both deflected wide.

It took until the 87th minute for City to get a real sight at goal, but when substitute Kayden Jackson broke forward, his shot could only find the legs of Young, denying the visitors even a consolation.

Oxford City: Bulman, Henderson (McEa-chran 23), Stonehouse, Pook, Preece, Willmott, Solomon-Otabor, Mullings, Basham (Symons 45), Pond, Winters (Jackson 80). Subs not used: Ballard, Benjamin.

Referee: M Dexter.

Attendance: 1,531.

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