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OXFORD CITY FC - HISTORY & STATISTICS

© Chris Byrne 2010

1950-1951

The club were now running five sides, including an “Extra A XI”, and had acquired the use of the Co-Operative Sports Ground in Botley Road for the ‘A’XI and other minor matches. They had over 70 players on their books, but at the start of the season lost another of their strongest, Ernie Ryman, to professionals Banbury Spencer. Further afield there were reports of Cliff Holton scoring freely for Arsenal Reserves and of Percy James leaving Luton to become player-manager of Worcester City.
Les Wickson was appointed captain but the league season was again hugely disappointing with only seven victories throughout the campaign.
City scraped past Pressed Steel, playing in their final ever FA Cup match, 5-4, but lost 2-1 at home to Slough, again, after drawing in Berkshire in the 1st Qualifying Round. The FA were getting very worried about the soaring numbers entering the Cup as there seem to have been no qualifications required to take part, and a letter was put round stating that “... small clubs of poor strength and inferior ground facilities may be barred from the next FA Cup competition.”: local teams such as Pressed Steel, Osberton Radiators, N.A.C. and Kidlington would never again feature in the national competition.
The Amateur Cup was the season’s saving grace. City was exempted until the First Round, the luck of the draw was on their side and they seemed to save their best performances for this competition. Corinthian League Erith & Belvedere were the first visitors to the White House and a good crowd saw an exciting 4-2 victory, and the Second Round saw a repeat of the score against a strong Metropolitan Police side taking City through to the last sixteen. Another home draw in the Third Round brought renowned cup-fighters Crook Town from the North-East to the White House and over 7000 fans saw a thrilling 2-2 draw. Better still was to come when, to the surprise of many, City made the long trek to Durham and “... on a switchback ground and in a quagmire of black mud” Townsend and Wheeler scored to pull off a splendid 2-0 win. When the draw matched City against Pegasus in the Quarter-Finals the build-up was tremendous and a huge crowd was expected at the White House. In the end the gate fell slightly under the record for the ground and around 9500 saw Pegasus score three second-half goals to take them forward and, eventually, to the first of their two Amateur Cup Final successes: 2-1 against Bishop Auckland.

1950-1

In between their Amateur Cup exploits City were getting further and further behind with their league fixtures because of their Oxfordshire Senior Cup matches: 5-0 v Morris Motors; 5-0 v Chipping Norton (after a close-run 3-3 draw) and a 7-2 trouncing of N.A.C. in the semi-final. Though City were brought down to earth the following Saturday with a 7-1 battering at home to champions-to-be Leytonstone! City collected the Senior Cup for the eleventh time at the end of March with a 3-1 defeat of Witney Town at the OURFC ground.
Mr McGowan turned down a proposal from Headington United that they should play their Bradley Memorial Cup match under lights at the Manor Road ground as “... the game would not be given full justice under lights”. Mr Smith for Headington said this was “sheer rubbish” and offered the match to Banbury Spencer instead of City ... at which point the OFA stepped in and said that no professionals could play in any match arranged under their aegis. So Headington and Banbury played each other in a friendly!
Unsurprisingly the club did not cope well with the mounting backlog of league matches and results fell away again as the season drew to a close.

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