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Making a Manager - The Story

Ryan Ferguson returns for another English LLM journey
Started on 23 October 2018 by Justice
Latest Reply on 15 May 2019 by Griffo
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Oxford City Overcome Wycombe In Cup

Oxford City Held On To Defeat A Strong Wycombe In The FA Cup


Oxford City's love affair with the FA Cup continued as they held on to defeat EFL League Two side Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park. The game finished 2-3, with the away side twice going two goals ahead, but the home side, Wycombe, possibly deserved at least a share of the spoils when the match stats are considered.

'The Cup of Dreams' has been aptly named for Oxford City, who impressively reached the Third Round last season, as they have reached the First Round once more. The Oxfordshire-based club have benefited from the financial rewards of progressing in the FA Cup and will be looking to remain in the competition for as long as possible this term.

Wycombe Wanderers were the home side for the fixture and were favourites for the game. They looked to make a quick start as a long ball from Yan Dhanda had released striker Antoine Semenyo beyond Oxford City's defence. The striker looked to place the ball beyond Ryan Dickerson but the Oxford City goalkeeper reacted quickly to parry the ball wide of goal with an outstretched leg.

The woodwork came to Oxford City's rescue just moments later as Wycombe Wanderers kept up the early pressure. The home side moved the ball from side-to-side on the edge of City's penalty box. The ball, eventually, found its way to on-loan Yan Dhanda who shimmied away from Luke Ruddick before pinging a low drive off the outside of Oxford City's goal post.

Oxford City's determination to play a possession game soon thwarted Wycombe Wanderer's high-pressing style, and the visitors opened the scoring in some style. The ball was worked out to left inside forward Ryan Longman who cut inside before unleashing a stunning curling shot from range which was well out of reach of Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop. A superb way for Oxford City to take the lead.

Ryan Longman Scored An Incredible Goal To Open The Scoring

Wycombe desperately tried to get back into the game in the first half but Oxford City doubled their lead just minutes before the half time interval. Holding midfielder took charge of a free kick on the edge of the D. His low effort was blocked by the wall but Kabongo Tshimanga was on hand to slot in the rebound. It was a two goal lead for Oxford City going into half time.

Yan Dhanda was proving to be Wycombe's creative star and he was the man who got the home team back into the game early in the second half. Jason McCarthy's backpost cross was met by the foot of Yan Dhanda, who volleyed the ball into the far corner. Game on.

The home side thought they had levelled the game on the hour mark, only to have a goal chalked out. From a corner, the ball had rebounded into the path of the unmarked Ro-Shaun Williams who poked the ball into the back of the net but the linesman had ruled the defender to be in an offside position. Let off for Oxford City.

Oxford City regained their two goal lead late in the second half, and Ryan Longman was at the heart of another goal. The attacker took on Jason McCarthy near the corner flag before delivering a peach of a cross to the front post where substitute Nathan Ferguson was on hand to give Oxford City full control of the game.

With just minutes remaining, Wycombe looked to put the pressure back on Oxford City as Nick Freeman scored an audacious long range effort to halve the deficit once more but it was too little too late as Oxford City held on to progress to the Second Round.

Oxford City Were Narrow Winners In A Tight Game

Player Ratings:
Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop (6); McCarthy (7), Stewart (6), Williams (6), Foulds (6); Lucas (7), Gape (6), Ball (6); Kashket (6), Dhanda (8); Semenyo (6)
Subs Used: Bloomfield (6), Freeman (8), Jombati (N/A)

Oxford City: Dickerson (7); Ruddick (6), Clough (6), Bamford (6), Jefford (7); Moss (7), Sinclair (6), Ashby (6); Iyamu (6), Longman (8); Tshimanga (7)
Subs Used: Ferguson (7)

Man of the Match: Ryan Longman (8)

Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe Wanderers):
"I'm disappointed. I thought we deserved to get something out of the game today. We created plenty of very good chances and I thought we were unlucky that we didn't put some of them away.

I can't fault the players today, they all played very well. We played a very good pressing game and we put Oxford City under a lot of pressure at times. It is just a shame that we didn't score enough to progress."

Wycombe Wanderers Dominated The Shot Stats

Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"I'm proud of the players today. We came up against a very strong team who showed exactly what they're capable of with their pressing style and the type of goals they scored. To come out of this game with a victory is a great achievement for this football club.

I think we learned a lot from playing this type of game. There aren't too many teams in non-League football who press quite like Wycombe Wanderers too so we came up against a very intense challenge today and there were moments in the game where our game management had to be on point. I think the experience of playing this type of game will benefit the players enormously and we will be even better geared towards facing this type of challenge in the future.

It is nice to progress into the next round of the competition. We know that there will be plenty of high-quality opposition that we could face but we are excited about this prospect. Hopefully we can continue to impress in this competition and push for the latter rounds."

What Happens Next?

Wycombe Wanderers face a short turnaround until their next game. They face Bournemouth U23s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, 12/11/2019, before travelling to Notts County in the league next weekend.

Oxford City will return to league action against Barrow at Kassam Stadium next weekend as they look to continue their impressive start to the season, before travelling to AFC Flyde the following weekend.

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, Fergie has put so much time into Oxford City that leaving now would be a major mistake.

Previous Update: #50 - Fergie Rejects Multiple Job Offers
Next Update: #52 - Oxford Clubs Draw Each Other In FA Cup
Fantastic result in the cup once again. It really has been something you and your team have thrived in.

One little thing though, it's AFC Fylde - not Flyde. ;)
Suck it Wycombe!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Oxford Clubs Draw Each Other In FA Cup

Oxford United Will Face Oxford City In The FA Cup Second Round


The FA Cup Second Round draw has thrown up an incredible prospect as EFL League One side Oxford United will host National League side Oxford City at the end of the month. The fixture will be played at Oxford United's Kassam Stadium, which Oxford City are, coincidentally, ground sharing until March.

Oxford United defeated a stubborn Forest Green side yesterday, live on Sky Sports, to reach the Second Round of the competition. United reached the Third Round of the competition last year before suffering defeat to Watford, and will be hoping to reach the Third Round once again.

Oxford City defeated EFL League Two side Wycombe Wanderers in the First Round of the competition on Saturday and will be hoping to reach the Third Round once more, having been knocked out at that stage last season by Birmingham City.

The two Oxford-based clubs will face each other on 30/11/2019 at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford United's ground. Oxford City have been ground sharing here as their own stadium, Court Place Farm undergoes expansion works, making this fixture somewhat of a home game for both sides.

Oxford City manager Ryan Ferguson has spoken of his excitement about this fixture, playing in a derby game against Oxford United, and his belief that it will be of great benefit to football in Oxford in general.

Oxford United Are Currently In The Fight For Promotion To The Championship

Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"It is quite an exciting fixture, isn't it? We get to play in a local derby against a significant football club in Oxford, at a stadium which we both call home this season. This game has all the signs of being an absolute classic.

The game will be a significant one for football in Oxford. We have the opportunity to inspire an entire city and I'm confident than both Oxford United and ourselves can put in a performance which will excite football fans all over the city, and all over the country too."

The Oxford Derby Will Be Played At The End Of The Month

Comment Section

ScottT, I will continue to call them AFC Flyde :P
mgriffin2012, yes indeed!

Previous Update: #51 - Oxford City Overcome Wycombe In Cup
Next Update: #53 - Honours Even In Ten-Goal Classic
That's a cracking fixture! Similar to Truro vs Torquay that was played recently - with both sides playing at Plainmoor. A cupset here would be incredible.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Honours Even In Ten-Goal Classic

Oxford United & Oxford City Played Out A 5-5 Thriller In The FA Cup


Oxford United and Oxford City today played out an incredible 5-5 draw at the Kassam Stadium in the FA Cup Second Round. It was a ding-dong derby day as each side took turns at taking the lead. United looked to have won the game when leading 4-3 late, only for City attacker Jordan Wright to score a late brace to put City in the driving seat in stoppage time. However, United striker Jonathan Obika produced a last-gasp header to level the score and force a replay.

The game was always going to be a thriller with both managers, Karl Robinson of Oxford United and Ryan Ferguson of Oxford City, promising an attacking display pre-match. Over 6,000 spectators packed into Kassam Stadium for the spectacle and they only had to wait ten minutes for the opening goal, which went Oxford City's way.

City's talisman striker Kabongo Tshimanga opened the scoring for team in blue and white. City captain Josh Ashby lifted a wonderful long range pass over United's defence and into the path of Tshimanga, who only needed one touch to send the ball beyond United goalkeeper Simon Eastwood. Advantage City.

United pressed and harried and got a deserved equaliser ten minutes before half time. City defender Tom Bamford was caught napping on the ball on the halfway line and found his pocket picked by Gavin Whyte. The United midfielder charged forward before picking out Kaylen Hinds in the penalty area with a wicked cross, and Hinds forced a half-volley underneath the outstretched arms of City's Ryan Dickerson. It was all square.

An entertaining first half could not have prepared anybody for the eight goals of the second half, which began with another United goal. Matthias Fanimo danced his way inside from the left wing before picking out the top corner with a curled effort. It was a finish of true quality but question marks were raised over the poor defensive play of City right back Luke Ruddick, who let his man move past him so easily.

City leveled the game shortly after as Kabongo Tshimanga got his second goal. Nosa Iyamu had been fouled in the box, with City awarded a penalty. Kabongo stepped up and fired an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net to even the scoreline.

The game was set for a frantic final seven minutes. City substitute Jordan Wright teed up Ryan Longman to score an incredible top corner drive, giving the unfancied National League side the lead late on, but it would not last long.

Jordan Wright Scored Two Late Goals Which Looked To Have Won The Game

United quickly turned the tide as Tony McMahon fired in a thirty-five yard blockbuster of a free kick to level the score, before Fanimo teed up Jonathan Obika to put Uninted in the lead with just three minutes to go. Surely game over now? NO!

In the ninetieth minute, Jordan Wright wrestled the ball from Curtis Nelson on the edge of the United penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable drive to level the score. He was not done there as he put City in the lead in stoppage time. Wright got on the end of Longman's long ball before seeing his initial shot parried by goalkeeper Simon Eastwood, but made no mistake in rolling in the rebound. City had taken the lead in stoppage time!

The game was not dead and buried just yet, however. United came back with one final push and Jonathan Obika forced in a header from McMahon cross to level the score one last time. THE GAME HAD FINISHED WITH FIVE GOALS APIECE!!!!

Both Sides Probably Deserved The Draw

Player Ratings:
Oxford United: Eastwood (6); Norman (7), Mousinho (6), Nelson (5), Leahy (6); Hanson (6), Brannagan (6); Henry (6), Whyte (7), Fanimo (9); Hinds (6)
Subs Used: Baptiste (6), McMahon (8), Obika (8)

Oxford City: Dickerson (6), Ruddick (6), Clough (6), Bamford (6), Jefford (6); Moss (6), Sinclair (6), Ashby (7); Iyamu (6), Longman (7); Tshimanga (8)
Subs Used: Wright (8), Rowthorn (N/A), Clark (N/A)

Man of the Match: Matthias Fanimo (9)

Karl Robinson (Oxford United Manager):
"I am nearly speechless after that, what a game! I'm not sure my heart can take any more ups and downs. It could have been any team who could have won today and I think the fans, especially, enjoyed the spectacle. We gave it our all and scored five goals. I think most teams who score five goals tend to go through, so in that regard it was quite disappointing that we didn't win today.

I thought the players did well in some parts of the game and not so well in others. We gave the ball away in silly positions way too often and we were punished for it, particularly in the latter stages of the game. We need to show more composure when a team presses us and we need to be able to react better when we are under the cosh."

Oxford United Dominated The Shot Count In The Match Statistics

Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"Wow! What a game! I think supporters from all around England will have enjoyed that one! It isn't often you get ten goals shared in a derby game in a cup competition. It was quite a game for everybody to be involved in and it is a great advertisement for football here in Oxford.

I'm not going to analyse the game now, I think today we should celebrate the football that was played and the wonders the game brought. We should be delighted with the hard work we put into the game and the success we shared today with a fiercely-competitive opponent. We can analyse where we need to work on and what lessons we can learn from the game tomorrow. Today we should just relax and enjoy what happened."

What Happens Next?

The replay will be at Kassam Stadium on Tuesday 10th December and will be televised. The winner will progress to the Third Round of the competition, where EFL Championship side Wigan Athletic awaits the winner. The winner of the replay will earn £27,000 in prize money.

Back to the present, Oxford United will first play Scunthorpe at home on Tuesday and Peterborough away next Saturday in the EFL League One as United look to keep up the pressure on the teams above them in the league.

Oxford City will also have to return their focus to league play, momentarily, as they travel to Southport on Tuesday before hosting Maidstone United next Saturday. City lead the league at the minute but cannot let their foot off the gas with a chasing pack behind them.

Comment Section

ScottT, it proved to be a bit more than a cracking fixture, anyway :P

Previous Update: #52 - Oxford Clubs Draw Each Other In FA Cup
Next Update: #54 - Season 2019/2020: November
What an incredible game of football, and what an incredible showcase for football in Oxford, hopefully attracting a tonne of new fans to either club (preferably City though)
F*cking hell, what a game!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Season 2019-2020: November

An Overview Of Oxford City In November 2019

Ryan Ferguson:
"We had made an incredible start to the campaign and put ourselves in a very strong position in the league and the cup. The sky was the limit but, as far as we were concerned, the season would only come one game at a time."


Oxford City Continued An Incredible Unbeaten Start To The Campaign

The goodness kept on coming! In terms of league play, our goal scoring standards dropped quite a bit. We mustered a goal in each of the four league games, but that was enough to earn three wins and a draw. Ten points out of a possible twelve isn't too bad at all, I don't think so anyway.

The FA Cup went well too. A narrow victory over EFL League Two side Wycombe Wanderers put us into the Second Round where we went onto face our city rivals, Oxford United. We played an incredible spectacle (see previous update) which ended in a 5-5 draw, forcing a replay.

Player of the Month

Ryan Longman Was Oxford City's Star Player During November 2019

Ryan Longman impressed in a month where we played some high profile FA Cup games. He scored an absolute worldie and assisted another as we defeated Wycombe, before also scoring against Oxford United. Longman also scored a late equaliser against Wrexham in the league. Longman had become accustomed to life as an inside forward.

National League

Oxford City Are Top Of The Table After 20 Games

We continued to top the table. We were five points ahead of second placed Macclesfield Town and we didn't look like stopping any time soon. We could improve in every aspect of our game, no doubt, but we had made a very promising start to the season.


Oxford City's Finances Were In Good Condition

The FA Cup games had kept our finances strong. We were anticipating another boost with the FA Cup Second Round replay coming up. Hopefully we could progress and ear prize money from the win.

Upcoming Fixtures

Oxford City Will Play Against Oxford United In An FA Cup Replay

All eyes were on that replay against Oxford United. We had a busy month ahead of us, including the festive period and an FA Trophy First Round game. We were hoping to finish the year on top of the league and progressing in both cup compeittions.

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, I'd imagine it has done! The replay will be televised but the only shame is that game wasn't televised :P
ScottT, pulled half my hair out during it :P

Previous Update: #53 - Honours Even In Ten-Goal Classic
Next Update: #55 - Fergie: I Loved Derby Experience
I wanted to be on Kassam Stadium in that afternoon.
What a Cup draw. Juiciest tie Oxford would have seen in years! You appear to have things well in hand.
To still be unbeaten after 20 games is incredible and shows what a job Fergie is doing at the club! December will be a busy month but you'll come through it unfazed I feel
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Fergie: I Loved Derby Experience

Ryan Ferguson Was Thrilled By His Team's 5-5 Draw With Oxford United


5-5. Not a scoreline you see too often. Not one you see too often in the FA Cup. Certainly not one you see in a derby game. However, it was the scoreline we saw when Oxford United faced Oxford City a few days ago.

It was frantic, it was end-to-end, it was beautiful. It was football at its very best. An exciting first of half of football set the secene for a second half which produced eight goals, including two in injury time. You would be hard pressed to see a game quite like it ever again.

It was a sign of the times for football in Oxford. Oxford United had been doing very well in the EFL League One and were challenging for promotion to the EFL Championship. Under Karl Robinson, they were playing an exciting brand of football which had enthused fans to no end.

The real story of the past season and a half in Oxford has been Oxford City. Since appointing young manager Ryan Ferguson last summer, they have gone on to win a National League South and FA Trophy double last season, and currently top the National League table with an eye on earning promotion to the English Football League.

Their high-intensity style of play, which Ryan Ferguson has called 'controlled chaos' in the past, has obliterated teams at times and has seen them defeat high profile opposition over the past sixteen months, most notably Walsall, Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers.

Two teams in form, both playing an intense style of football; it was always going to end in goals. The first half was almost a preview of the scenes of the second half as both sides scored, but there was no preparing for the eight goal glut that came in the final forty five minutes. Nobody could have bet that what happened would, indeed, happen.

Oxford City manager Ryan Ferguson was in love with the madness. The former Liverpool youth coach shared his joy, as a football fan, of the game and also his frustation, as a manager, at the manner of how the goals were conceded.

Fergie also spoke of his delight of the replay being televised, and also previewed his side's upcoming FA Trophy First Round fixture which is due to be played this month against East Thurrock United.

Oxford City Will Face East Thurrock United In The FA Trophy First Round

Ryan Ferguson:
"First and foremost, as a football, the derby against Oxford United was an incredible game. You don't get ten goal games all too often and it was fantastic to be a part of the action, to be a part of the late drama which came between two city tivals.

As a manager, I have to analyse where we made the errors and how we can cut them out in the future. I think we can be quite disheartened by the manner of some of the goals we conceded. We didn't protect our full backs who got isolated at times and we need to be much quicker to react when the opposition switches the play from one side to another.

It is very good for us, for Oxford United, and for football in the city that the replay will be televised. It shows the interest in the two sides is increasing and hopefully we can give another entertaining performance, without conceding five goals!

We got a tough draw in the FA Trophy First Round. East Thurrock United will be a difficult challenge for us to face. We struggled against them in a league game last season, which we ended up drawing, and we know they have the ability to counter attack very quickly."

Comment Section

Makengitz, it was a wonderful occasion!
tenthreeleader, indeed it was! A great game befitting a great occasion!
mgriffin2012, it is all down to being relentless in mentality all day, every day. The best don't stop when they reach the top; they find new heights.

Previous Update: #54 - Season 2019/2020: November
Next Update: #56 - Shootout Decides Derby Day Delight
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Shootout Decides Derby Day Delight

Oxford City Defeated Oxford United In An FA Cup Replay By Means Of Penalties


Oxford City were victorious in a penalty shootout against cross-city rivals Oxford United in an FA Cup Second Round replay. The score was tied at 1-1 at full time, with extra time unable to divide the two teams. Despite missing two penalties in the shootout, Oxford City were victorious as Oxford United missed three.

The replay between the two Oxford-based clubs comes after a 5-5 draw played out at the end of last month, with both sides showing incredible attacking form. Today's replay didn't bring ten goals but it brought a different type of drama, in the form of a penalty shootout.

The game started at a frantic pace and a goal liked to come within the first ten minutes. Oxford City came closest in the early stages through a devastating counter attack. Nosa Iyamu was at the heart of it, popping a brilliant around-the-corner pass to Nathan Ferguson on the edge of the penalty area who curled a low effort just wide of the right-hand goal post.

Kabongo Tshimanga had become somewhat of a cult hero since joining last summer and he very nearly found the opener on the quarter-hour mark. Kabongo picked up the ball on the right wing before cutting inside and curling an effort with the outside of his boot just beyond the far post.

Tshimanga did find the opener in the first half. Elliot Moss was brought down in the penalty area while chasing a cross, with Oxford City awarded a penalty as a result. The City striker stepped up before planting a driven shot into the roof of the net. It was an incredible finish from the penalty spot. Advantage Oxford City.

Oxford City Fans Celebrated A Historic Victory

Oxford United pushed for an equaliser in the second half. Matthias Fanimo caused havoc in Oxford City's half, running circles around opposition player. The tricky winger nearly picked out the bottom corner with a curled long range effort, only to be denied by Oxford City goalkeeper Ryan Dickerson.

Fanimo found the back of the net just moments later, from an Oxford United corner routine. The ball rebounded in the box a number of times before the winger poked his foot out to prod the ball in off the post. It was all square.

Cameron Brannagan, formerly a part of Ryan Ferguson's Liverpool youth squad, nearly put Oxford United in front. Brannagan picked up the ball on the left wing before turning and putting Ryan Dickerson to the test with a speculative long range effort. Dickerson was good enough to parry the ball wide of goal.

Oxford City were showing their attacking hand too, with teenage English attacker Ryan Longman nearly picking out the far corner with an effort from the edge of the area. However, his shot bounced a yard wide of the far post.

The game worked its way to a penalty shootout, with the crowd following nervously. Kabongo Tshimanga stepped up first for Oxford City and kept his cool with a low effort to the left. Both goalkeepers were in form, with Ryan Dickerson of Oxford City saving three penalties. It proved to be enough for Oxford City to win the penalty shootout 3-2, and progress to the next round of the competition.

Player Ratings:
Oxford City: Dickerson (7); Ruddick (6), Clough (6), Bamford (6), Jefford (6); Moss (6), Ashby (6), Ferguson (6); Iyamu (6), Longman (6); Tshimanga (6)
Subs Used: Chapman (6), Wright (6)

Oxford United: Eastwood (6); Norman (6), Nelson (6), Mousinho (6), Leahy (7); Henry (6), Brannagan (6), Baptiste (6), Fanimo (7); Hinds (6); Obika (6)
Subs Used: Whyte (6), Hanson (6), McMahon (6)

Man of the Match: Matthias Fanimo (7)

Oxford City Progressed After A Tense Penalty Shootout

Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"Brilliant! Just brilliant! I am so thoroughly proud of my players for fighting until the bitter end and holding their own in what was a very nervy penalty shootout. We progress after yet another thrilling derby and we can be very happy with the work we have done so far.

The fans were incredible today, I believe we posted a club record attendance of 10,397. That is phenomenal. They really did push us on to play at a higher level and it showed on the pitch today. We are delighted to be able to repay their faith and we hope to give them even more in the future."

Oxford United Dominated The Shot Count But Note The Scoreline

Karl Robinson (Oxford United Manager):
"I'm bitterly disappointed. I thought we did enough today to take the win and progress but we didn't do enough where it counts; in front of goal. We didn't score the goals to win the game and we struggled in the penalty shootout. We didn't do what we had to and it cost us today."

Previous Update: #55 - Fergie: I Loved Derby Experience
Next Update: #57 - Kabongo: Derby Day Made Us Stronger
What a feeling, what a nighttttt.

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