Colchester United 0 Oxford City 1, match report: FA Cup humiliation for sorry Colchester United
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Colchester United 0 Oxford City 1
Colchester United suffered FA Cup humiliation on home turf this afternoon, dumped out of the competition in the first round by non-league Oxford City.
And John McGreal’s men can have no complaints – City were well worth their win, secured by Matt Paterson’s clinical header at the start of the second half.
Oxford had not won in the National League South since August – they are second-from-bottom with just two league wins all season – but they more than matched their League Two hosts.
The U’s were stunned inside 34 minutes of the second half.
Rob Sinclair powered through to the edge of the box and found Dave Pearce on the left. His cross was sweetly headed into the bottom corner of the net, past a static Sam Walker, by Paterson.
And that proved to be enough to secure a shock cup success.
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So once again the U’s have become victims of an FA Cup giant-killing act.
Oxford looked comfortable during the early stages, despite not having won a league match since August.
It was not until the 13th minute that the U’s threatened, Kyel Reid blasting a 20-yarder over the bar following a good passing move.
City were having their attacking moments, and a powerfully-hit cross by right-back Miles Welch-Hayes was deflected away from the danger zone by Ryan Inniss.
And it was Sam Walker who made the first save of the afternoon, smothering winger Pearce’s long-range shot with ease in the 20th minute.
It required a superb tackle by Tom Eastman to deny City a clear-cut chance, just two minutes later. Rob Sinclair burst onto Zac McEachran’s through ball and was about to pull the trigger when Eastman intervened with a well-timed challenge just outside the six-yard box.
The U’s were denied an opening goal by the woodwork in the 26th minute. Inniss headed on a corner and Eastman’s follow-up header struck the bar and bounced back into play, Brandon Hanlan just unable to squeeze home the loose ball from close in.
Two minutes later and Oxford were also thwarted by the woodwork.
Doug Loft upended Sinclair on the edge of the box, and Paterson’s ensuing free-kick cracked the top of the bar. It was a lucky let-off for the U’s.
The Essex hosts should really have broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark, Mikael Mandron scooping a shot over the bar with just keeper Jack Stevens to beat, after being teed up by Hanlan.
Eleven minutes later and Stevens was in the right place to save Mandron’s shot on the turn, on his goal-line, following Reid’s accurate cross from the left.
Just before the break, City’s leading scorer, Paterson, had one shot blocked and his second effort drifted only a foot or two wide of the far upright.
But Paterson made amends for that miss by heading Oxford into a 1-0 lead inside the first minute of the second half, from Pearce’s cross.
The U’s tried to respond quickly and a curling free-kick by Reid was deflected narrowly wide in the 52nd minute.
Substitute Craig Slater forced a smart save from Stevens, the City keeper pushing his low shot around the post on 69 minutes, and fellow substitute Lewis also went close with a shot that flashed across the face of goal.
City continued to defend well, but they had an escape when Reid drilled a shot agonisingly wide of goal in the 86th minute, following a period of pinball in the box.
Drey Wright also had a shot deflected wide during the last minute of normal time.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Inniss, Kent (sub Kinsella, 59), Jackson, Loft (sub Slater, 57), Comley (sub O’Sullivan, 80), Wright, Reid, Hanlan, Mandron. Unused subs: Gilmartin, Lapslie, Odelusi, James.
OXFORD CITY: Stevens, Welch-Hayes, Grant, Fofana, Henderson, Oastler, McEachran (sub Hirst, 79), Poku, Paterson (sub Forde, 90+2), Sinclair, Pearce. Unused subs: Jones, Sanders, Tutton, Khawaja, Peart.
Referee: Alan Young (Cambs
Attendance: 1,775 (153 away fans)