Log in or Register
Oxford City 4
Lolos (16', 48', 54'), Davies (24')
0 Tonbridge Angels
Oxford City

Angels suffer at Oxford

Sometimes you can do no more than hold your hands up and accept that you have been well beaten by much the better side.

Oxford City’s place in the play-offs is as good as cemented with the distinct probability that they will take a place in the top three thus avoiding the elimination round and, on the day, they looked more than good enough to go all the way.

Three successive heavy defeats at Marsh Lane signals a far from happy hunting ground that has seen the Angels conceding 13 goals in those games without troubling the onion bag.

Craig Braham-Barrett was still returning from international duty so Bailey Akehurst continued at left back whilst Jack Wood’s injury saw Jamie Fielding return with Tariq Hinds moving forward.

After Friday’s countrywide torrential rain that saw several games postponed, black clouds decorated the Oxford sky but the storm that was coming the Angels way was in the shape of Klaidi Lolas. Not that this was evident in the opening quarter-hour when Jordan Greenidge looked lively and the opening chances fell to Joe Turner who saw his shot blocked and following a corner that was headed back across goal by Sonny Miles, a rising shot cleared the bar.

So it was against the run of play when the home side took the lead. Zac McEachran waltzed his way through a couple of insipid challenges before laying the ball off for Lolas to shoot into the bottom corner.

A brilliant save from Jonny Henly, pushing a shot from Alfie Potter onto the bar and over on 24 minutes was only short respite as, from the resultant corner, Jack Davies headed home.

In this period, Oxford City were at their best, confident, little touch and goes around the box and superb distribution from the middle of the pitch had the Angels chasing shadows for a 20 minute spell.

But credit to Tonbridge, they withstood it and actually came back into the game in the latter stages of the half with Greenidge having a couple of efforts that were saved, albeit comfortably, by Adnan Kanuric.

But any hope of a stirring comeback were quickly dispelled in the opening minutes of the second half when Lolas was was sent clear to bury a shot into the bottom corner.

After 53 minutes, Lolas was allowed to run into the box before being brought down and he duly completed his hat trick from the spot.

Now the worry was a humiliating, seriously heavy defeat. Thankfully, the Angels dug in; Oxford perhaps took their foot off the pedal and the game died on its feet.

After 64 minutes, Greenidge steered a free header wide of the post to deny even a consolation. It was that sort of afternoon.

Jay Saunders commented after the game that he “hadn’t seen a performance such as this coming and we were just not good enough on the day. Once Oxford got in front they did what good sides do, look after the game and one to eleven they were better than us.”

Published Sunday 2nd April 2023