OXFORD City’s poor start to the year continued after a 2-1 defeat at Concord Rangers, writes RYAN BRATLEY.

Stephen Cawley struck six minutes from time to condemn Mark Jones’s side to a fifth game without victory.

The defeat leaves City 17th in the table, just two points above the relegation zone after fellow strugglers Gloucester City picked up a point against Poole Town

After a quiet opening period, Concord took the lead on 16 minutes when Femi Akinwande’s spectacular long-range effort beat Craig King and dipped under the crossbar.

The visitors looked to hit back, but found a well organised defence in their way.

And when Rob Sinclair found space to tee up Matt Paterson, City’s top-scorer could only fire straight at goalkeeper Louis Wells.

King then denied Concord a second, diving to his left to keep out a free-kick.

City’s best chance of the half fell to Zac McEachran, who unleashed an effort which took a deflection and hit the outside of a post.

Concord started the second period strongly and Akinwande was inches away from making 2-0 after he crashed a shot against the woodwork.

The visitors had a penalty shout waved away on 56 minutes when the ball appeared to hit a defender’s hand.

But City equalised a minute later after Freddie Grant swept home a McEachran cross at the back post.

However, the hosts went on to dominate the latter stages, with Jones’s side struggling to keep them at bay.

Khale Da Costa looked certain to score for Concord, but saw his effort hit the bar.

But Cawley netted what turned out to be the winner on 84 minutes when he latched on to Ben Greenhalgh’s pass and fired home.

A late corner offered City a glimmer of hope and goalkeeper King made his way into the area and rose highest, but his header went wide of the target.

Oxford City: King, Jones, Navarro (Oxlade Chamberlain 66), Poku, Stevens, Oastler, McEachran, Fofana (Forde 85), Paterson, Sinclair, Grant. Unused subs: Peake-Pijnen, Godwin-Maliffe.

Attendance: 259.