Oxford City 5
(Ballard 28, Sharif 48, Cook 80, Basham 83, 88)
Oxford City recorded their biggest victory of the season as they trounced Workington in Blue Square Bet North at Court Place Farm on Saturday, writes JACK JOHNSON.
Goals from Andy Ballard, Nabil Sharif, Jamie Cook and a brace from Steve Basham fired City to a convincing victory.
Mike Ford’s men were without midfielder Liam Malone through suspension, but could have opened the scoring in the tenth minute as Darren Pond volleyed Declan Benjamin’s cross over the bar from five yards.
Sharif was also unable to find the net after a long throw from Ballard fell to the striker in the penalty area.
Workington began to move the ball around with confidence, but it was City who were creating the chances.
Cook should have made it 1-0, but he missed the target after Benjamin’s long ball put him through on goal.
However, the home side did get the breakthrough they deserved just before the half-hour mark as Paul Stonehouse took a short corner to Jack Mills, who saw his shot deflected into the path of Ballard, and City’s captain made no mistake from close range.
Sharif could have doubled City’s lead just moments later, but he failed to hit the target from Ballard’s cross.
However, the striker was not to be denied his first goal of the season for long.
Three minutes into the second half, he connected with Mills’s corner to beat Aaron Taylor and make it 2-0.
City started to run a tiring Workington side ragged, and substitute Basham worked Taylor from 20 yards before Cook headed Stonehouse’s cross just over on 78 minutes.
As the home side continued to dominate, Stonehouse played a long ball over the top of the Workington defence which led to a Basham volley being saved by Taylor only for the rebound to fall kindly for Cook to coolly slot home.
With the game beyond the visitors, City continued to press and Stonehouse was involved again as he crossed, after good link-up play with Jacob Walcott, for Basham to net a fourth on 83 minutes.
The striker was soon on the scoresheet again.
Pond broke through the midfield to find Basham in acres of space on the right, and the substitute fired in to the bottom corner to give City an emphatic victory.
Oxford City: Carter, Mills, Learoyd, Willmott, Stonehouse, Benjamin (Skendi 59), Ballard, Pond, Walcott, Sharif (Basham 66), Cook (Barcelos 79). Sub not used: Gunn.
Referee: A Degnarain.