IT’S LATE HOR­ROR FOR CITY HE­ROES

The Non-League Football Paper - - FA CUP SECOND ROUND - By Mark Wil­liams

MARK Jones was left con­sol­ing a squad re­duced to tears after Jorge Grant’s 95th-minute win­ner cru­elly dumped Ox­ford City out of the FA Cup at the hands of Notts County.

The National League South out­fit bat­tled back through Rob Sinclair and Matt Pater­son after twice trail­ing, with the chances of a re­play well and truly alive at Meadow Lane.

But after Richard Duffy’s opener and Jon Stead’s penalty, Grant popped up at the right place in in­jury-time to leave chief Jones pick­ing bod­ies off the floor.

“We have to ac­cept the re­sult but it is so tough be­cause we have had play­ers in tears,” he said. "How we are go­ing to get the play­ers over this I don't know be­cause to get so close is heart­break­ing.

“But we could not have given any more than we did. A lot of teams would have caved in but we equalised twice and showed tremen­dous char­ac­ter to come and do that at a sta­dium like this.

“We were try­ing to hang on for dear life at the end but foot­ball is all about fine mar­gins and it just wasn't to be.

“I think we can be proud of our achieve­ments to get as far as we have.”

The Hoops en­joyed the bet­ter of the open­ing but failed to deal with a cor­ner al­low­ing Duffy to poke home on the half-hour.

The vis­i­tors were in rap­tures when Sinclair fired low on the counter in the sec­ond half, though the lead lasted three min­utes as Stead con­verted a penalty when Terry Hawkridge was fouled.

A sub­lime Pater­son fin­ish looked to have earned a re­play only for Grant to break their hearts – leav­ing County boss Kevin Nolan very re­lieved.

“I thought Ox­ford City were fan­tas­tic and if I was their man­ager now I’d be very dis­ap­pointed,” said Nolan. “I would have taken a re­play with five min­utes to go be­cause they seemed to be get­ting stronger as the game went on.

“But I am de­lighted be­cause we never gave in.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

ROB A JOB! Rob Sinclair leads the cel­e­bra­tions after scor­ing their first goal

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