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FOOTBALL: Battling City made to suffer
10:00am Monday 14th January 2013 in Sport
Oxford City fell to a second defeat in a week - by 1-0 -at second-placed Guiseley, just days after their unsuccessful trip to leaders Blue Square Bet leaders Chester, writes Matthew Bruce.
A goal from James Walshaw just after half-time proved enough to sink City.
The margin of their defeat would have been greater but for the heroics of goalkeeper Matt Ingram, although it was his slip that led to the only goal.
City started well and had the best of the early chances.
Josh Mulvany attempted an ambitious lob from 30 yards when he spotted Guiseley goalkeeper Steve Drench off his line, but the ball drifted just over the bar.
Declan Benjamin called Drench into action again with a sweetly struck volley that stung the goalkeeper's hands.
And new signing Callum McNish almost made a dream debut when a long throw from Andy Ballard found him in acres of space on the edge of the box, but he snatched at his shot which flew harmlessly over.
The hosts had started sluggishly, but winger Wayne Brooksby was looking dangerous out on the left.
It was his inch-perfect cross thatforced Ingram to make an impressive flying punch out to clear the danger, denying the lively Josh Wilson a free header from point-blank range.
After this it was one-way traffic as Guiseley had the City goal under siege.
Ingram was again forced into action after an excellent passing move enabled Wilson to get the wrong side of the defence.
The City shot-stopper who stretched out an arm to palm Wilson’s shot around the post and keep the scores level at the break.
The visitors’ resistance lasted just four second-half minutes as Guiseley finally made their pressure count.
Mike Ford’s side failed to clear a series of corners, Walshaw prodding home after Ingram had spilled the ball.
City attempted to get back into the match, but found their efforts frustrated, with lone striker Andy Ballard cutting an increasingly isolated figure as City failed to break down a determined and professional Guiseley defence.
The hosts nearly had the final say in a game they had dominated when Danny Boshell was unlucky to see his powerful shot cannon off the post in the final minute.
The defeat means that City drop to tenth, two points off a play-offs and one behind next Saturday’s opponents, Halifax.
Oxford City: Ingram, Gunn, Stanley, McNish (McEachran 76), Learoyd, Willmott, Benjamin, Pond, Ballard, Mulvany, Bar-celos. Subs not used: Basham, Cook, Glass, Bell.