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OXFORD CITY FC - HISTORY & STATISTICS

© Chris Byrne 2010

1954-1955

1954-5

Oxford City and Wimbledon were re-elected to the League, but City were warned that their performances must improve in the following season if they hoped to remain in the league, and again “an excess of expenditure over income” was reported by the committee. On the positive side there was a good turnout for the Trial Matches, particularly from local service personnel.
On the first Saturday of the season Sportclub EV Kleve visited the White House ground and were beaten 3-2 in an entertaining match, and the league season showed greater promise than the previous year when champions Bromley were beaten 2-1 in front of a good crowd of over 3000 in City’s second league match of the season. Because of FA Cup and Amateur Cup matches they had had to wait until mid-September for this game by which time Walthamstow Avenue led the league with a 100% record after playing six matches. And it wasn’t until October 30th that the third league match took place, by which time City were bottom of the league! England Youth international Harry Poole had been appointed team captain during September and, at the age of 19, was possibly City’s youngest ever captain.
It was agreed that, under Percy James’ hand, the team was playing better than for some time and by the end of the year had won more games than in the whole of the previous season. They won their first away match for two years, 3-1 at Dulwich, and had a resounding 5-2 victory over Romford. On the down side they did lose 8-3 at home to Walthamstow and 8 1 at Corinthian-Casuals! Still, a steady run through March and April saw ten matches won and a final placing of tenth: with more points won than in any of the previous five seasons.
The Reserves were not having the best of seasons in the league and were still without a point by the end of September. They finally picked up their first win of the season with a 2-1 win against Corinthian-Casuals, but then suffered their worst loss for seven seasons, 7-3 at Dulwich, the following week.
The 1st XI started in the Preliminary Rounds of both national competitions. In the FA Cup excitement rose locally as they moved through the first three matches fairly comfortably, including a 4-1 win over arch-rivals Wycombe, and then disposed of Maidenhead, so often a bogey team in cup competitions, by the same score. The Fourth Qualifying Round match against Tunbridge Wells United, and the prospect of playing a league team next, featured heavily in the local press and hopes were high of further progress, but the professionals of Kent on their own ground proved too strong and City lost 3-1.
The first two matches in the Amateur Cup were equally encouraging: a 7-0 win at Buckingham Town and a 5-1 home defeat of Wokingham. But, though they were 2-0 up at half-time, Aylesbury United, Delphian League champions, stormed back in the next match and City capitulated 6-2.
There were several local competitions that the club was involved in. The 1st XI won the Benevolent Cup by defeating Bicester Town 3-1 at the start of May, but lost the Smith Memorial Cup Final, after a replay, to Headington United. Rather more surprisingly, perhaps, they were knocked out of the Senior Cup in the semi-final by Pressed Steel, going down by the odd goal in seven. Additionally they got through to the AFA Invitation Cup Final where they would meet Cambridge City early the following season.

The Reserves were also involved in three cup competitions: The Oxfordshire Charities Cup, the Reading Senior Cup and the Henley Charity Cup. They won the first of these, overcoming Thame United in the final; but were eliminated from the second in the semi-final by Wycombe Wanderers Reserves; and were runners-up in the third to East Reading Adult School.
The Club announced plans to cover the Marlborough Road Terrace and to extend the new North Stand.
During the season Harry Poole represented the R.A.F against a Combined Hospitals XI, but stepped down as 1st XI captain after the Senior Cup defeat; Doug Buswell had trials at Portsmouth and took over as 1st XI captain; and Dave Meeson, who had kept goal for the club for two seasons earlier in the decade and was now a professional at Reading, was a reserve for the Young England v Young Italy match at Stamford Bridge.
 It was arranged that, after a few years’ in abeyance, the tradition of teams representing the Isthmian League playing Oxford City at cricket, bowls, and possihbly tennis during the summer would be resurrected.

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