As Shrewsbury Town prepare to face Oxford City for the first time in their history, we profile the visitors to the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Oxford City, may have a history of living in the shadows of their League One neighbours Oxford United, but the National League South outfit showed their credentials against Northampton.
The BT Sport cameras were in attendance on the 9th of November, to witness Oxford City defeat the Cobblers 2-1.
The non-league outfit were fluid and performed like a league side – despite never having featured in the top four divisions.
James Roberts and Josh Ashby sealed a 2-1 first round victory, and the score line flattered a Northampton side that struggled to cope with Oxford’s verve and flamboyancy.
And for Shrewsbury Town fans who do not know too much about Sunday’s opponents, here is the lowdown on Oxford City:
Oxford City will love to remind United fans that their club was formed ten years prior. Founded in December 1883, the club played a number of exhibition matches prior to joining the Isthmian League in 1907.
But there were huge fears that Oxford City would be consigned to the history books as they struggled to turn professional. However, in 1979 Oxford City became a limited company and World Cup winner Bobby Moore and former Premier League boss Harry Redknapp formed a managerial team.
Yet in 1988 the club was plunged into darkness. They were evicted from their stadium by a local college and forced to resign from the league.
But they reformed in 1990 when they entered the South Midlands League and eventually returned to the Isthmian League in 1993.
Oxford City have a decent record in the FA Cup – one such run occurred in 1999/00 during a three-game battle against Wycombe. And more recently in 2017/18 they defeated league opposition for the first time in their history by beating Colchester 1-0.
The Hoops are managed by Australian born David Oldfield who made close to 700 appearances for the likes of Luton, Leicester, Manchester City, Stoke, and Peterborough.
Oldfield was part of the Manchester City side that gained promotion to the now Premier League during the 1988/89 season. His most memorable moment arrived in September 1989 when he scored a brace during a 5-1 victory against Manchester United.
The now 52-year-old also helped Leicester City gain promotion to the Premier League in 1994 – where he played alongside the likes of Julian Joachim, Iwan Roberts, Simon Grayson, and Kevin Poole. He ended his playing career with Brackley Town.
Oxford City’s main threat comes from the aforementioned James Roberts and his strike partner Harvey Bradbury. Roberts began his career at Oxford United where he scored five times in 34 games. He has also featured for Barnet and several non-league sides.
Harvey Bradbury is the son of former Manchester City, Crystal Palace, and Bournemouth striker Lee. He began his career at Portsmouth and has also been on the books at Watford and Millwall.
QPR loanee Aaron Drewe caught the eye with a number of marauding runs from right-back against Northampton, whilst Joe Gubbins is also on loan from the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium – or Loftus Road for the purists.
Shrewsbury may also want to watch out for Elliott Benyon who has struck over 100 career goals to date and represented clubs including Bristol City, Swindon, and Southend.
Oxford City have endured a difficult start to their 2020/21 National League South campaign – winning just two of their eight opening games. On Tuesday evening they lost 3-2 away to league leaders Dorking Wanderers.
Since beating Northampton, Oxford City have not won a match – losing to Havent & Waterlooville, drawing against Chippenham and Eastbourne, whilst also losing the aforementioned game against Dorking Wanderers.
Oxford City’s only away victories this season have arrived in the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup.