Oxford City were unable to build on the previous week’s 5-0 thrashing of Workington, as they fell to a disappointing defeat against ten-man Vauxhall Motors in the Blue Square Bet North on Saturday, writes Matthew Bruce.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead into the break, but City levelled the scores early in the second half through captain Andy Ballard and appeared to be in the ascendancy when Vauxhall had Chris Noone sent off.

But it was Vauxhall who struck the final blow in the 83rd minute to send City home with nothing. City had the better of the early scrappy exchanges, but Motors took the lead after 22 minutes when City failed to clear their lines from a free-kick and David Thompson was allowed to strike home from just inside the penalty area. This hosts nearly doubled their lead a minute later when Craig Mahon blasted wide after confusion in the City area, keeper Warren Carter having to make a point-blank save from Dan Parkinson. City returned for the second half a changed side and equalised when Chris Willmott headed Paul Stonehouse’s free kick onto the bar for Ballard to bundle in the rebound. Rampant City appeared to have the advantage when Nabil Sharif dispossessed Noone only to be pulled down as he advanced on goal, leaving the referee with no choice but to dismiss defender Noone in the 56th minute.

Vauxhall needed two pieces of excellent last-ditch defending to save them, with Andy Nicholas and Lee Dames combining to clear Adam Lea-royd’s header off the line.

The visitors’ inability to convert their chances ultimately proved costly as Tom Rutter took advantage of some careless defending from a corner to blast in the late winning goal.

City bombarded the home side’s goal in the dying minutes, but were unable to find a way through to fall to just their second away defeat of the season.

Oxford City: Carter, Mills, Stonehouse, Ballard, Learoyd, Willmott, Walcott, Malone (Barcelos 71), Sharif, Cook, Pond. Subs not used: Basham, Gunn, Skendi, Ben-jamin.

Attendance: 236.