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Report: Oxford City 1-1 Wanderers

26 July 2013

Jon-Paul Pittman’s second goal of pre-season earned the Wanderers a 1-1 draw against a spirited Oxford City side.


minute. thThe Blue Square North outfit more than held their own in the first half and took the lead when Albi Skendi finished from close-range in the 11

Chairboys took a while to get into the game, but finished the opening period on top and were rewarded when Pittman tapped in after fine work from Steven Craig.

Blues were the better side in the second half and could have scored three times in the final five minutes with Sam Wood and Dean Morgan going close, and Josh Scowen rattling the crossbar.

It was the hosts who started brightest with Albi Skendi heading over from close-range, but the striker didn’t have to wait long to open the scoring as, in the 11th minute, he fired in from six yards after Matt Ingram had superbly parried away Steve Basham’s effort.

It was a fine stop from the former Oxford City loanee, but the experienced Basham was given too much room in which to strike at goal.

City continued to attack with purpose and Ingram was called into action again five minutes later, making a smart stop down low to keep out Lee Henderson’s header.

Sam Wood saw a shot deflected over as the hosts failed to clear their lines and that came at the end of Blues’ best early move with Dunne, Craig and Cowan-Hall all involved.

Marvin McCoy, fresh from his goal against Aston Villa, then tried his luck from 25 yards, but it flew wide with keeper Mark Scott untroubled.

Adam Maabdi was inches away from doubling City’s lead 10 minutes before the break when he cut in from the left and let fly from 30 yards, however, his dipping strike just cleared the crossbar.

Wanderers levelled three minutes later when Scowen picked out Craig on the right and the striker burst past Paul Stonehouse to reach the byline before cutting back for Pittman to tap in from near the goalline.

Wood was denied by Scott less than 60 seconds later when a flowing break culminated with the winger shooting first-time from just outside the area after being found by the lively Craig.

Chairboys had come back into the contest well after a slow start and went into the break in the ascendancy.

Neither side threatened at the start of the second half until  Pittman struck the outside of the post just before the hour mark, but it would have been fortunate as it was a clear cross from the forward.

Ainsworth made his first changes after 60 minutes with Dean Morgan and Nick Arnold replacing Pittman and McCoy. Gary Doherty and Matt Spring were introduced soon after.

City substitute Tom Winters fired over from an angle, but it was the Blues who were the next to come close when Scowen cut in from the left and found Wood. The winger struck goalwards first-time, only for substitute keeper Victor Francoz to save low down to his right. Wanderers kept the ball alive and Spring, who could have shot, found Wood again, who this time shot just wide.

Blues should have added a second six minutes from time when Morgan broke clear, only to see his shot saved by Francoz – the ball then  broke to Wood who half-volleyed over with plenty of the goal to aim at.

Ainsworth’s men came even closer with two minutes remaining when Scowen was denied a fine winner by the crossbar. The midfield burst forward before rifling a shot that looked destined for the top corner, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Morgan then curled just wide after cutting in from the left as the Blues finished much the stronger of the sides.

Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy (Arnold 60), Dunne, Stewart (Doherty 68), Johnson (Hause 80), Cowan-Hall (Kretzschmar 81), Lewis (Spring 71), Scowen, Wood, Pittman (Morgan 60), Craig.

Sub not used: Horlock.

Attendance: 263


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