MATCH REPORT: Oxford City 1-2 Shots

Tommy Widdrington and the Shots walked out of Oxford with all the points, as goals from Lorent Tolaj and Josh Stokes in the first half were enough in a 2-1 win at the RAW Charging Stadium against Oxford City.

Tommy Widdrington was forced into the only change he made to the side who came up short at Roots Hall last week, as Rollin Menayese missed out through suspension, Coby Rowe slotted into defence in his place. Fresh off being recalled from loan at Farnborough Hady Ghandour made the bench, alongside academy graduate Ollie Turner.

Oxford City were the National League’s bottom side ahead of kick off, and the Shots took full advantage of their superior form with just over 10 minutes on the clock. It was a great team goal, as Ollie Harfield played a ball over the left hand side which just evaded Brooklyn Kabongolo and laded on the chest of Josh Stokes, he in turn played a simple pass to Stuart O’Keefe, the Shots skipper then picked out James Daly in the Oxford City box, Daly then squared to Lorent Tolaj, who tucked into an empty net to open the scoring.

Despite going behind it would be Oxford City who got the next goal, Lewis Coyle putting the ball in after some poor defending by the Shots. Ryan Glover tried a couple of clearing headers, but could only find Josh Parker, who whipped the ball back into the box, and nobody picked up the late run of Lewis Coyle as he volleyed home from just inside the box.

The Shots were playing the better of the two sides, and in the 38th minute were back into the lead. The ball was bouncing around, and the ball found Lorent Tolaj just outside the Oxford City box, who unlocked his inner assister as he fed through Josh Stokes, Stokes in turn showed good strength and anticipation as he held off Jacob Roddy and put the ball low and beyond the Oxford stopper Tom Watson to make it 2-1 to the Shots.

Aldershot continued to play the better football, but were unable to add a third to their lead as the referee ended the first half after the three additional minutes.

HALF TIME: Oxford City 1-2 Shots

Tommy Widdrington’s yellows continued to press on for a third following the interval, but struggled to make any clear cut chances. Lorent Tolaj and James Daly had half chances, and just after the hour Josh Stokes hit an effort just wide of Tom Watson’s goal.

Looking for a cushion, the Shots first change of the afternoon came on 68, as Stuart O’Keefe made way for Kwame Thomas.

Josh Stokes had a good chance on 74, but after recieving a ball in a pocket of space from Dejan Tetek on the edge of the Oxford City box could only fire his effort onto the top of the stand behind Tom Watson’s goal.

After being recalled from his loan at Farnborough Hady Ghandour came on in the 76th minute in place of James Daly.

In front of the travelling fans Tyler Frost almost added the third, running onto a failed clearance and hitting an effort hard and well towards the bottom right of the Oxford City net, but a mix of players denied Tyler Frost a great goal on the road. The pressure was on, and moments later Frost again was involved, picking up the ball following a corner and delivering a ball into the box which Kwame Thomas headed just wide.

Jordi Van Stappershoef was forced into his first save of the game in added time, a routine one as Josh Parker rushed through after a ball over the top but failed to get any power behind his effort. Parker’s effort was the last of the game, meaning the referee ended the game with the score still at 2-1 to the Shots, meaning Tommy Widdrington travelled back down to Hampshire with all the points in the bag.

Attention now turns to a huge clash against Oldham at the EBB Stadium next weekend.

Shots XI

  1. Jordi Van Stappershoef, 2. Haji Mnoga, 3. Ollie Harfield, 5. Coby Rowe, 7. Stuart O’Keefe (C) (39. Kwame Thomas, 68′), 8. Tyler Frost, 9. Lorent Tolaj (20. Josh Barrett, 87′), 10. Josh Stokes, 11. Ryan Glover, 26. James Daly (23. Hady Ghandour, 76′), 34. Dejan Tetek

Unused subs

13. Ashley Akpan, 31, Ollie Turner

Away Attendance: 593