OXFORD City’s promising run of form was brought to an abrupt halt as Tonbridge Angels inflicted a 3-0 defeat at Court Place Farm.

Andy Ballard’s men spurned chances to equalise Tom Wood’s first-half header either side of the break.

The Tonbridge striker hit the hosts with a sucker punch when he made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute, before Joe Turner’s penalty completed the scoring in the closing stages.

It meant City dropped two places in Vanarama National League South to 12th, while the gap to the play-off places stretched to nine points.

A crowd of 729, the club’s highest league gate of the season, was in expectant mood against a side who began the day second-bottom of the division.

The anticipation was boosted by a debut for 18-year-old centre back Nico Jones, who had joined on a month’s loan from Oxford United a day earlier.

AJ George replaced Zac McEachran in the other change to the line-up that started the 2-1 triumph over Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday night.

It was clear the visitors were not going to lie down and they took the lead after 16 minutes.

Ben Greenhalgh’s cross was met by Wood and he gave Craig King in the City goal no chance.

The hosts came on strong as they looked for a response and Reece Fleet saw his deflected effort saved by Tonbridge keeper Jon Henly.

Elliot Benyon was the next City player to go close, but he got his 32nd-minute lob all wrong and Henly gathered gratefully.

Shortly before the break, Kyran Wiltshire almost equalised but his shot from out wide passed the wrong side of the post.

City were still trailing at the start of the second half and it was not long before Ballard rolled the dice.

The joint interim boss brought on Nana Owusu, scorer of the winning goal against Dorking, and Craig Fasanmade, recalled from his loan spell at Banbury United, in place of Wiltshire and George.

Tonbridge threatened with a series of inswinging corners, while Josh Ashby’s 70th-minute free-kick lacked the crucial touch from a City player.

With 13 minutes left, Benyon had a golden chance to level when he was put through one-on-one with Henly, but the keeper read his intentions to save.

The home side were made to pay soon after, when Wood’s shot took a wicked deflection and found the net.

Turner compouned City’s misery from the penalty spot six minutes later on a day to forget for the home side.

Oxford City: King, E Jones, Jefford, Ashby, Moore-Azille, Wiltshire (Fasanmade 57), Fleet, Benyon, Berkoe, George (Owusu 57), N Jones. Unused: Foster, Barrett, Wright.

Attendance: 729.