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OXFORD CITY FC - HISTORY & STATISTICS

© Chris Byrne 2010

2005-2006

There were major changes before the new season kicked off. City were placed in the Spartan South Midland League, and the Reserves also had a major makeover as Quarry Nomads, a club with a significant history in Oxfordshire football, finally bowed to ongoing financial problems and threw in their lot with City. The Reserves were transformed into Oxford Quarry Nomads and took Quarry Nomads’ place in Division 1 East of the Hellenic League, playing their home games at Court Place Farm, whilst Oxford Quarry Nomads ‘A’ carried on playing at Nomads’ old home ground in St Margaret’s Road.
Not only did Andy Lyne take over from Andy Sinnott as manager, but only two players who had played in the last league match of the previous season appeared in the first match of the new one: Adam Durrant and Omar Takriti.
Still, despite the many changes, the season got off to a very positive start with two league wins and an exciting 3-2 victory in the FA Cup against Isthmian Division One side Newport (IOW).
The Nomads won their first two matches in their new incarnation but couldn’t maintain their momentum and only won another two before December.
The abrupt end to FA Cup involvement at Southern Premier side Slough Town, and a 1-0 league loss at the fancied Aylesbury Vale saw a brief glitch in proceedings, but the side then put together an impressive unbeaten league run to the end of the year which saw them win eleven and draw three matches.

2005-6

There were just two defeats during these three months. In the League Cup Hillingdon Borough, a perennial bogey side who would finish runners-up to City at the end of the season, won 3-1 at Court Place Farm; and in a bad-tempered FA Vase tie fellow SSML side visitors Welwyn Garden City ended the home side’s involvement in the competition by the same score after City were reduced to ten men in the first half following Ray Spence’s sending-off.
Though there was another early cup-dismissal at the start of February when they lost 1-2 deep into extra-time in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup to Hellenic League Carterton, league results were still excellent and City and Hillingdon were starting to edge clear of the pack with Hanwell and Harefield vying for the third promotion place.
Hillingdon visited City in mid-March for what was by now an important ‘six-pointer’ with the London side claiming all the points in a see-saw 3-2 victory; and a week later, when City surprisingly lost 1-3 at home to St Margaretsbury, it looked as though Hillingdon might have been handed the initiative with just six games remaining.
But Andy Lyne’s side now showed real character and won four matches in succession to keep the pressure on Hillingdon who now dropped points of their own.
With two weekends to go before the end of the season there was a respite from league action at Hillingdon Borough’s ground as a goal from Harry Burnley was sufficient to win the side the Premier Division Cup in a nail-biting mid-week encounter with Leverstock Green.
The penultimate weekend saw City meet Leverstock for the second occasion in four days, but this time, on the Hertfordshire team’s ground, City pulled out all the stops and a Ray Spence hat-trick saw them through to a comfortable 3-0 win.
Hillingdon beat Holmer Green that day, and so the following weekend City found themselves needing a win or a draw in their match with Holmer Green to ensure the Championship, and were grateful to Mark Jones’ coolness under pressure as he side-footed home a cross in the first-half to give City the lead. The visitors drew level later on in a game with few chances, but City held on to claim the point to bring them the title on goal difference, and after a mini-invasion had subsided at the final whistle they were presented with the League Championship Shield.
The Nomads had had a tricky first season in their new League, but considerably improved form after Christmas had pulled them away from the lower reaches of the table.

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