Tranmere end Oxford City's dreams of another FA Cup second round appearance in replay

Wednesday 21 Nov 2018
James Norwood and his Tranmere Rovers team-mates despatched of Oxford City in Tuesday's replay
Luke Weir-FA-Young-Reporters-Club

Luke Weir is an 18-year-old student studying multi-media sports journalism at UCFB Wembley. He is a big football fan and writes content for Fresh Press Media and the National League Under 19 Alliance website. Luke is part of The FA Young Reporters’ Club.

Oxford City’s hopes of back-to-back Emirates FA Cup second round appearances were dashed by a Tranmere Rovers side 57 places above them in the league standings.

Anticipation was building ahead of kick-off for what was considered one of the biggest games in their history with a home game against Southport the reward – a game which would have been seen as very winnable for the non-League outfit.

Ten days after their thrilling 3-3 draw at Prenton Park and City were once again well in the contest, this time at their home Court Place Farm in front of a packed ground as well as the BT Sport cameras.

Oxford City 0-2 Tranmere Rovers
  • The Emirates FA Cup
  • First Round Proper replay
  • Tuesday 20 November 2018
  • Court Place Farm, Oxford City FC
  • Winners receive £36,000 from prize fund

Despite this, City could not repeat the heroics of last season which saw them reach the second round for only the second time in their history.

The weather played havoc on a wet and windy Tuesday evening, but that didn’t stop the fans turning up in their hundreds with the hope of witnessing a cup upset.

The queue for the food and drink went on and on behind the goal, with people dodging wayward footballs while carrying drinks. A sport in and of itself.

Some had to stand on the yellow hatch markings to get a good view of the match which demonstrated the eagerness of the Oxford fans to witness the magic of the FA Cup.

The hosts were undone after only six minutes when James Norwood was on the end of a through-ball and one-on-one with Oxford keeper Craig King, dinking over him and into the back of the net.

They doubled their lead after half an hour when Mullin robbed Frankie Musonda of the ball, raced into the penalty area and curled the ball past King to find the bottom corner.

There was an impressive crowd at Tuesday's replay in Oxford

King was on the back of a man-of-the-match performance in City’s 1-0 league win last weekend and was on top form again after denying Mullin at full stretch moments after the second.

Backed by a vocal section of supporters behind the dugouts, Tranmere stuck to their game plan and passed the ball patiently.

There was a similar pattern for the remainder of the match with City probing but rarely testing Scott Davis in the Tranmere goal with the hat-trick hero in the original fixture, Kabongo Tshimanga, rarely getting a sniff.

Tranmere looked a constant threat on the break with King being called into action numerous times to keep the scoreline down.

However, over the course of 180 minutes Oxford will be proud of their performance and see plenty of positives going forward including gaining a whole new group of fans who have gone on this FA Cup journey with them.

Tranmere will now host Southport for a place in the third round next weekend.

By Luke Weir Court Place Farm, Oxford