Finalists!

From the Rage Online newsdesk Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004  

Oxford’s reserves this evening beat North Leigh in the semi-final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup in Banbury. Two second-half goals from substitute Tom Winters were enough to end a stubborn resistance from the Oxon villagers, who probably had the better of the play but failed to create any real chances.

The first half was an uneventful affair, enlivened only by a shot from Matt Brandish that cannoned back from the crossbar after he was set up well by Jefferson Louis. Winters scored his first about ten minutes after half-time, latching on to a loose header before rifling the ball under goalkeeper Kevin Alder. The second goal was scored about five minutes from time, again coming from a defensive error when a quickly taken North Leigh free kick was intercepted by Billy Beechers whose precision pass set Winters free to score. Shortly afterwards Winters could have completed his hat-trick when he latched onto a long kick from Simon Cox, but his lob over Alder floated just wide.

United fielded a very young side, with just Louis and Jamie Brooks having first team experience. This was due to new manager Graham Rix, who was not in attendance, putting the first team squad through a rigourous two and a half hour training session earlier in the day. Brooks was replaced after about ten minutes into the second half.

In the third division Mansfield played one of their two games in hand, and were held to a 1-1 draw by Swansea at Field Mill. Swansea had taken the lead, and the Stags were down to ten men, but still equalised in the second half. Elsewhere Carlisle’s fight against relegation continued with a 3-2 win at Scunthorpe.

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