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OXFORD CITY FC - HISTORY & STATISTICS

© Chris Byrne 2010

1995-1996

Levels of optimism were high as City returned to the Isthmian League First Division after an absence of seven years. Richard Peirson was signed on contract and Andy Martin and Roger Charles arrived from Abingdon Town. Darren McNamara moved in the opposite direction whilst Paul Spittle and Jimmy Hamilton joined up with Andy Lyne at Burnham.
The season got off to an exciting start with a home fixture against Basingstoke, and things were looking bleak for City after Roger Charles picked up a red card and the visitors edged into a 2-1 lead. However, a penalty from Andy Thomas with eight minutes left and a goal from Richard Peirson five minutes later gave City an unlikely but welcome victory.
A resounding 6-3 victory in the League Cup and a tidy 2-0 win at Chesham in the league continued this bright start to the season, but a 1-6 home defeat by Marlow brought everyone down to earth with a bump!
The disappointing run in the FA Cup continued as City went out at the first hurdle in a replay at Witney (1-3) after an exciting draw (1-1) at home. But spirits were raised again as there followed five successive league victories including a 2-0 win at much-fancied Aldershot in front of almost 2000 very partisan supporters.
Results in the FA Trophy were more positive though the draws were not the kindest to the City. A 0-0 draw at Premier Division Walton & Hersham lead to an exciting replay at Court Place Farm which eventually saw City triumph 5-2, and this was followed by another draw at a Premier Division side, Bromley. Goals from Charles and Morrissey in the replay gave City what looked like a comfortable buffer, but two goals in the last four minutes from the Kent side produced a nail-biting period of extra time which was eventually settled by a close range strike from Martin Brown.

1995-6

League results continued to be excellent and a 1-0 win two days before Christmas against Chesham finally took City ahead of Heybridge Swifts and to the top of the table. Boxing Day’s local derby at Thame might have allowed City to extend the lead, but, though the game was rather surprisingly allowed to kick-off on what was very clearly a frozen pitch, the referee had seen enough after just four minutes’ play to take the teams off again.
The New Year got off to an exciting start at Ruislip Manor as City let slip a comfortable lead as the home side pulled back to 3-3 and then went ahead 4-3 before two late goals gave City a 5-4 win. A fortnight later, though, City were on the receiving end of a late decider as Southern Premier side Merthyr Tydfil first cancelled out a Liam Herbert penalty and then scored a second with a breakaway goal with a minute remaining.
Aldershot brought a large contingent of fans for the return league fixture on a Sunday at the end of January and collected all three points as City slipped back to second place behind Heybridge, though results through February saw City reclaim top spot as the two clubs vied for the championship and gradually increased the gap between themselves and Staines in third place. Wins against North Leigh and Bicester during the month also took them through to the Senior Cup Final.
Justin Lee, Les Phillips and Stuart Beavon arrived at the club just in time for the ‘final push’, and a gripping encounter with Heybridge at the end of March was won 4-2 by City with two goals apiece from Steve Fontaine and Stuart McCleary. But then a 3-1 loss at Bognor, in which Justin Lee suffered a horrendous fracture to his leg, and a shock 1-0 defeat at Barton – only the second time City had failed to score in a league game during the season – allowed Heybridge back into contention. Promotion was finally guaranteed with a 2-0 win at Thame, and the championship was ensured thanks to thirteen goals in the last three games as Whyteleafe (5-3), Wokingham (4-2) were beaten on their own grounds, and Billericay overcome 4-1 at a jubilant Court Place Farm on the first Saturday in May.
Four days later City rounded off another successful campaign with a 2-1 win at Thame in the Senior Cup Final to bring the cup back to the Club for the first time in a decade.

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