A SCHEME offering students free entry to Oxford City home matches has already had a ‘phenomenal’ impact, says commercial director Mick Livesey.

More than 150 people took advantage of the initiative, which includes 20 per cent off all food and drink bought at Court Place Farm, for City’s game against Braintree on January 18.

It swelled the crowd for the Vanarama National League South clash to 601, well above the club’s average home attendance of 355.

It was City’s highest league gate of the season and Livesey revealed it is one of many avenues the club is exploring to extend its reach.

He said: “It’s having a very positive effect – percentage-wise it’s phenomenal.

“We’ve got to reach out to the community and build relationships and that’s what we’re doing.

“Our community programme is now huge and all of that will start to pay dividends.”

The commercial director revealed 137 students claimed free tickets online, with 16 issued on the gate.

The scheme, created with football education course Velocity, launched in December and Braintree’s visit marked the weekend that many students at Oxford’s two universities returned for the new term.

City have also announced that for every new sponsor or partner they will donate a family season ticket for four to families on benefits or low incomes.

The scheme will be in place until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Livesey is aiming to achieve average home gates of 1,000 to help move the club forward.

He said: “The ambition is for us to move out of this league.

“We’re more than cementing ourselves in this division and looking up, not down.”