Oxford City 1-0 Fleet

Oxford City completed the double over the Fleet as a first-half goal from Andre Burley was enough to see the home side through despite Luke O’Neill hitting the crossbar in the second period.

There was just the one enforced change for the Fleet as O’Neill replaced Declan Skura following the midweek victory at Maidenhead.

Fleet first saw sight of goal in the fifth minute, a link-up down the right allowing Dominic Poleon to receive the ball and turn into the area – however, his left-footed shot was saved by goalkeeper Marcin Brzozowski. Omari Sterling-James then came close to an opener with a looping shot from just outside of the area that was just wide.

But it was a slow-paced half for all those inside the Raw Charging Stadium with neither side making strong chances. Oxford held on to the ball with a passing across the back approach before trying to find their forward men while the Fleet searched for an opening but there was little excitement on show.

Craig Tanner sent a long ball across the pitch in an attempt to pick out Poleon once more but that was blocked and sent behind for a corner kick.

Oxford hadn’t looked threatening for all their hold of the ball but they took the lead on 36 minutes. Mustapha Olagunju did well to cut out a cross with his head but the resulting corner led to a couple of touches in the Fleet box before Nya Kirby returned the ball and it pinballed towards Burley who kept his concentration to slot home.

The Fleet also managed to find the back of the net at the end of the half when a corner was punched into his own net by Brzozowski but the referee had blown for an earlier incident.

Second-half substitute Darren McQueen sends a shot over the bar

Half-time substitutions saw the Fleet introduce both Toby Edser and Darren McQueen for an improved second-half after the slow pace of the first. Fleet made the first chance, Tanner pulling the trigger from range but that was over.

The chances began to flood in for the Fleet but the target was just out of reach. In the 58th minute a searching ball fell nicely into the path of McQueen and he connected well but couldn’t keep his shot down.

The hour mark saw Dominic Samuel brought on and he made an instant impact to link-up with Edser but his effort was off target also.

Oxford showed their defensive skills when Canice Carroll neatly intercepted Poleon’s attempt to shoot and from the resulting corner, Samuel headed the ball low towards goal but it was scrambled off the line.

Samuel can’t believe that one stayed out

Fleet’s midweek goalscorer came close again minutes later, this time a low shot from inside of the box dragged wide.

The visitors continued to threaten and push for a late equaliser. A free-kick on the edge of the area was awarded when Mitchell Roberts brought down Poleon without the booking that seemed nailed-on and O’Neill stepped up to see his shot ricochet off the crossbar.

Despite another series of late charges from the Fleet, Oxford held on to their one-goal advantage.

EUFC: Cousins, O’Neill, Olagunju, Kenlock, Wright (Edser 46), Cissé, Sterling-James (McQueen 46), Chapman, Tanner (Samuel 60), Bingham, Poleon. Subs: Domi, Clifford.
OXFC: Brzozowski, Burley, Kirby (Fisher 89), Roddy, Fleet, Roberts, Parker, Smith (Ashby 46), Williams-Bushell, Carroll, Humphrey-Ewers (Potter 81). Subs: Moore, Croker.
Attendance: 1,157 (171 EUFC)

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