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© Chris Byrne 2010


So, a quick return to the Southern League and plenty of interest among the supporters to see if Andy Lyne could keep the momentum from the previous season going at the higher level. He had augmented his squad with the signing of Alex Stewart and Mark Avery from Thame United, as well as Ryan Williams and Anthony Alleyne from Burnham.
The season got off to a good start as goals from Mark Jones and Justin Merritt were sufficient to produce a home victory against Bracknell Town, followed by three draws in quick succession in the normal early-season rush of league fixtures. This included an exciting to-and-fro Bank Holiday battle with Didcot Town in front of what would be the division’s second highest attendance of the season: the first time the two, local sides had met competitively for many years.
FA Cup involvement started early, with another local derby, when Abingdon United drew 2-2 at Court Place Farm, before City edged a seven-goal thriller at Northcourt Road with Ray Spence netting a hat-trick.
Another Spence hat-trick in the next round helped put pay to Combined Counties side Chertsey Town 5-0, before an acrimonious match in the Cotswolds saw City bow out of the competition as they lost 3-1 to Bishops Cleeve, playing much of the game with ten men after Ray Spence had been given his marching orders for an alleged offence only spotted by an Assistant.


City drew a tough home encounter with eventual division champions Bashley in the Trophy and then surprised the Hampshire side with a 3-1 victory in the replay. Another trip down the A34 in the next round brought a single-goal loss at Winchester City.
After the intervention of the various knockout competitions League results took something of a downturn, with only one point picked up from five matches, including a battering in the New Forest as Bashley took a swift 6-0 revenge for their Trophy elimination.
And City were rocked by the surprise resignation of Andy Lyne at the start of November after a disappointing 0-2 defeat at bottom side Beaconsfield SYCOB. Lyne’s assistant Justin Merritt stepped into the breach and, within a week, brought in Mike Ford as his assistant, while the ex-manager became Director of Football.
Three wins in succession raised the morale of the side in late November, and there were more wins than losses as the year ran down to finish with a 0-0 Boxing Day stalemate at Didcot.
Various attempts to increase the goal scoring capabilities of the side were tried. Billy Beechers arrived from the Kassam on loan and scored two goals in seven appearances; Ryo Matsunaga from Swindon Supermarine played three games without scoring; and Gary Wickens signed from Ardley, scored a hat-trick on his debut at Hillingdon, and then played just once more before returning to the Hellenic side.
Kevin Chakaodza from Hemel Hempstead stayed the course slightly longer, but scoring goals remained something of an issue for the rest of the league campaign, and only once after the start of February were more than two goals scored in a match. On the positive side the defence were keeping opponents at bay relatively successfully and there were still seven victories in that time. And the first season back at Step 4 finished with City relatively comfortably placed in mid-table.
In the quarter final of the Senior Cup City locked horns with Witney – now United rather than Town – for the first time in several years and emerged victorious in an exciting game by the odd goal in three. The semi-final was an even closer affair as City drew 2-2 with Ardley after extra-time, but won the penalty shoot-out 3-1 to set up a meeting with Banbury United in the final. In the final at the Kassam Stadium Gavin Lane gave City the lead, and Carl Wilkins kept Banbury at bay with some fine saves, but an Andy Baird header and a Jon Gardner penalty finally won the game for the north Oxfordshire side.
The Nomads had a similar season to the previous campaign and finished in lower mid-table with Aaron Williams the pick of the goal-scorers with twelve goals in twenty-nine outings.

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