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OXFORD CITY FC - HISTORY & STATISTICS

© Chris Byrne 2010

1998-1999

Despite relegation Paul Lee had managed to keep the majority of the previous season’s players, indeed Matty Hayward and Chris Fontaine rejoined the club, and the season got underway on a positive note with a 1-0 win at Whyteleafe.
The FA Cup jinx that had seen the club fail to record a win since their return to the competition seven seasons previously was finally broken as they won 4-1 at Molesey, and then goals from McCleary, McSporran and Concannon produced an exciting 3-2 victory in a tense against previously undefeated Chertsey Town. A visit to Isthmian Premier side Gravesend & Northfleet in the next round proved to be too much of a hurdle, though, as the Kent side ran out 3-1 winners.
Involvement in the FA Trophy was shortlived however as they went down to the only goal of a close-fought game at home to Enfield.
At the start of October the big news was of Jermaine McSporran’s trial at Arsenal, and he got off to a flying start as he scored twice on his debut in a 3-1 win against Charlton Reserves. Though Arsene Wenger eventually decided against the move interest was still high, and it was reported that there were 24 representatives from League clubs at City’s home game against league-leaders Bognor Regis towards the end of the month as McSporran scored both goals in the 2-2 draw. The following week saw an end to the rumours as he signed for Wycombe Wanderers for what was reported to be a record fee for the City of close to £100000.

1998-9

League results continued to be good, and by the end of the year there had only been three defeats, to set against seven wins and eight draws: in fact the team went unbeaten in the league between the end of August and the beginning of December. In fact with only two more defeats in the next ten weeks it was beginning to seem that City could be capable of an immediate return to the top division.
However, after beating Braintree 3-0 in mid-March and an ultimately fruitless search by the manager to find a recognised striker, there followed a hugely disappointing run of eleven games without a win, only four points gained and a mere eight goals scored.
There had been a defeat by Wealdstone in the Full Members’ Cup, but, nearer to home, North Leigh had been beaten in the Senior Cup setting up a semi-final clash with Peppard, a team whom, remarkably, City had never beaten in the competition in five previous meetings. On this occasion, though, goals from Ferdinand, Gooderick and Concannon(2) saw City through to a fourth successive final.
City met Carterton in the final and the match very much followed the pattern of the game between the two sides two years previously when City had won the match on penalties. This time, though, three quickfire goals in the second half of extra time made the scoreline look much more comfortable for the City than the game had actually been and brought them the cup for the 31st time.

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