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  • Nicole Cho-Yee

REPORT | Oxford City 1-0 Wealdstone

Updated: Mar 31

Wealdstone suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss on the road to already relegated Oxford City.

A first-half goal from Josh Parker proved to be decisive as Ross Jenkin’s side nullified the Stones to seal all three points.

Manager David Noble made four changes to the side that were beaten by Altrincham on Tuesday evening, with internationals Alex Dyer, Tarryn Allarakhia and Dillon De Silva returning to the starting line-up, alongside Kallum Cesay.

The Stones started the match brightly as Allarakhia crafted an opportunity for a shot in the sixth minute of play which had to be deflected wide.

As the first-half progressed, Oxford City began to find rhythm, creating a chance in the 19th minute when Ernaldo Krasniqi’s ball over the top released Harvey Greenslade, whose attempted lob flew over the crossbar.

Moments later, the hosts were close to taking the lead through Josh Ashby who curled a shot from the edge of the box marginally wide of the far post.

On the 25th minute mark, City did duly seize the initiative when Lewis Coyle found Parker, who converted home past Marcus Dewhurst from close range.

The hosts nearly doubled their advantage four minutes later as Giles Phillips rose highest to connect with a free-kick, but the defender could only direct his header wide of the target.

Two minutes later, the Stones were agonisingly close to equalising through in-form Max Kretzschmar when his free-kick from outside of the box whistled just over the crossbar.

It was then Micah Obiero’s turn to aim fire at the Oxford City goal, as his powerful shot forced Watson to react with a solid save.

City nearly added a second goal as Krasniqi unleashed a fierce dipping strike from range that had to be acrobatically tipped over the bar by Dewhurst in the 38th minute.

The Stones finished the first-half on the front-foot, nearly equalising four minutes from the interval as Allarakhia found space in the box to rifle a shot towards goal, but the Tanzania international could only find the side netting.

The second-half saw the introduction of striker Manny Duku, who replaced De Silva.

City could have easily doubled their lead in the 54th minute when a corner was whipped to aerial threat Phillips at the back post, who struck on target, but Jack Cook responded with a vital block.

Despite a quiet start, the Stones galvanised another opening to draw level in the 65th minute as Kretzschmar slid through Duku, but Watson was quick off of his line to thwart the danger.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, Noble rolled the dice with a double substitution; Kretzschmar and Obiero departed for debutant Tobi Adeyemo and Brandon Mason.

Wealdstone had the opportunity to restore parity as Cook drove forward and slotted the ball towards the far bottom corner; however Watson reacted with a crucial save to deny the skipper.

As the contest entered the final ten minutes, the Stones had the perfect chance to level as Allarakhia squared to Duku, who in turn found Cesay at the back post, but the defender blazed his effort over the crossbar.

The Stones continued to probe for an equaliser and should have rescued a point in the 85th minute when Duku’s first-time effort hit the side netting, instead of the back of the net.

With four minutes of additional time, Wealdstone pumped the ball forward into the City box as they looked to snatch a late goal, but the hosts displayed resolute defending to hold firm and shutout the Stones.

Wealdstone return to action on Easter Monday when they entertain Solihull Moors at Grosvenor Vale, in a 3pm kick-off.

WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Cesay, Cook (c), Barker, Mundle-Smith, Dyer, Bowen, Kretzschmar (Adeyemo 65), Allarakhia, De Silva (Duku 45), Obiero (Mason 65).

Subs not used: Ferguson, Henry.

Attendance: 833

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee


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