FOOTBALL: City denied at the death as Griffin grabs leveller

Bidemi Afolabi celebrates his first goal for Oxford City, which put them 2-1 up

Bidemi Afolabi celebrates his first goal for Oxford City, which put them 2-1 up

First published in Football

Oxford City 2

(Winters 23, Afolabi 90+1)

Gloucester City 2

(Griffin 81, 90+5)

Charlie Griffin stunned Oxford City with a 95th-minute equaliser as they were held to a draw at home to Gloucester City in Vanarama Conference North yesterday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

The home side led for much of the match thanks to Tom Winters’ first-half strike, before Griffin levelled late on.

Substitute Bidemi Afolabi appeared to have given City the points in the 91st minute, only for Griffin to again level the scores at the death.

City came into the game unbeaten so far this season, while Gloucester were still searching for their first win, but it was the visitors who started the brightest.

Adam Mann did well to beat Alejandro-Adrian Santiago in front of goal, but slipped on the wet surface just as he was about to pull the trigger.

However, it was two mom-ents of individual brilliance from City which broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute.

Paul Stonehouse unleashed a ferocious effort from distance, which cannoned off the crossbar into the path of Winters, who fired into the top corner.

Adam Connolly went close to levelling shortly after, seeing his free-kick tipped wide by City keeper Mark Scott.

The visitors pushed for an equaliser after the break, Mann twice getting the wrong side of the City defence only to be denied by Scott.

Substitute Lewis Wilson almost made an immediate impact for the hosts in the 74th minute, seeing his powerful shot from the edge of the area deflected narrowly wide.

But Gloucester finally got the goal they had been threatening nine minutes from time when the City defence was caught napping, allowing Griffin to bundle in a dangerous cross.

Matt Groves was inches away from putting the visitors in front just moments later, firing narrowly wide.

City regained the lead and looked to have secured the points as the game ticked into time added on, when Darren Pond’s inch-perfect through ball found Afolabi, and the substitute rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home.

But City’s celebrations were short-lived as Griffin headed in a floated free-kick in the final action of the game.

Oxford City: Scott, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Malone (Pond 58), Santiago, Green, Barcelos (Wilson 74), Del Alamo, Yussuf (Afolabi 82), Rodriguez, Winters. Subs not used: Henderson, Brown.

Referee: S Purkiss.

Attendance: 330.

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