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FOOTBALL: Willmott bags winner as City spring surprise + Audio
10:00am Monday 14th October 2013 in Sport
Chris Willmott headed Oxford City into the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup in a 3-2 win at Skrill South leaders Eastleigh on Saturday, writes Matthew Bruce.
Marvin Robinson and Jamie Cook had given fast-starting City a 2-0 lead inside the first ten minutes but the hosts had levelled through Jamie Collins and Stuart Fleetwood before Willmott’s late heroics.
Tom Winters was City’s hero in the early stages and was instrumental in City’s quick start to the game.
First he latched on to Darren Pond's perfectly weighted through ball with the match just one minute old, before squaring to Robinson to bundle in his first goal for the club.
Then, after exchanging passes with Robinson, Winters outpaced former Oxford United full-back Damian Batt before crossing for Cook to double the lead.
It was the perfect start for City but the hosts pulled a goal back shortly after.
City failed to clear their lines after Batt’s ball in, allowing Collins time to pick his spot before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
And Eastleigh pulled themselves level five minutes into the second half when Collins flicked a corner on to Fleetwood, who was left with the simple task of firing in from point-blank range.
From then on it appeared that only one side would go on to win the match as the hosts applied serious pressure but the City defence stood firm and restricted Eastleigh’s chances.
And when the opportunity came to restore their lead with less than 15 minutes remaining, City were clinical.
- Listen to Mike Ford's reaction
They were awarded a free-kick inside the home side’s half and Pond’s pinpoint delivery found the head of Willmott, whose header powered into the back of the net to send his side through.
The fourth qualifying round draw takes place this afternoon, with Skrill Premier clubs entering the competition.
Oxford City: Francoz, Benjamin, Stonehouse, Ballard, Henderson, Willmott, McNish (Clifton 72), Pond, Robinson (Symons 50), Cook (Learoyd 79), Winters. Subs not used: Williams, Scott, Basham.
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