Saturday 20th December 2014
Oxford City: Salva De La Cruz, L. Henderson, A. Adrian Santiago, J. Lapoujade, P. Stonehouse, T. Winters, D. Pond, Ander del Álamo, A. Yussuf (S. Murombedzi), F. Barcelos (L. Wilson), Javi Rodríguez (M. Fofana). SUBS NOT USED: D. Benjamin, G. Pearson.
Hyde FC: Connor Hunt, D'Arcy O'Connor, Adam Blakeman, Matthew Flynn, Alex McQuade, Kelvin Lomax (Rhys Day), Luke Giverin, Louis Almond, Tom Bentham, Ted Cribley, Connor Hughes. Subs not used: Erike Sousa, Andreas Pachipis, Ryan Masterson, George Riley. Sent off: Adam Blakeman.
By Matthew Bruce (Oxford Mail)
City were far from their best as they got sucked into a scrappy game, but first-half goals from Tom Winters and Adi Yussuf proved to be the difference.
The second half was not without incident as the bad-tempered clash boiled over, resulting in red cards for City’s Lee Henderson and Hyde’s Adam Blakeman in the final minutes.
The match was an unattractive one from the off, punctuated by a series of niggly fouls from the visitors and misplaced passes from City.
However, the home side did get themselves in front after 15 minutes, thanks to a moment of magic from Winters.
After receiving the ball 25 yards from goal, he curled a glorious effort through the massed ranks of defenders, beyond the despairing dive of goalkeeper Connor Hunt and into the corner of the net.
That should have given City the foundation to stamp their authority on the match, but instead it was the away side who looked more threatening.
Goalkeeper Salva de la Cruz came to City’s rescue, getting down well to block at the feet of the onrushing Connor Hughes, before getting back up quickly to stop the follow-up attempt.
Winters was again involved as City doubled their lead shortly before half-time.
He picked out top-scorer Yussuf in the area before the striker quickly turned in the crowded box and arrowed a shot into the corner for his 17th goal of the season in all competitions.
After the break, it was much the same story as a disjointed City struggled to get into their stride, with the visitors unable to discover the killer instinct to put themselves back in contention.
Hughes and Luke Giverin were both allowed to weave their way through the City defence but when faced with goal their efforts were tame.
Tom Bentham also twice headed over the bar after Hughes had crossed into the box.
And as the match grew increasingly bad-tempered, Henderson and Blakeman were given their marching orders for an unpleasant altercation following a poor challenge from the City defender.
The dismissals came too late to affect the outcome of the match, but served as a fitting finale to a poor contest which both sides will be anxious to put behind them.