MATT Paterson’s second-half strike gave Oxford City victory over neighbours Oxford United to reach the Oxfordshire Senior Cup final.

The striker’s low shot from outside the box settled a game of few clear-cut chances at Court Place Farm.

City looked the more likely to score in the latter stages, on a night where United created little going forward.

Their biggest positive was Ivo Pekalski getting through 70 minutes unscathed, in what was the first time U’s supporters had seen the midfielder play since he signed in August.

City named a strong side and were the first to threaten, when Sam Nombe fired over from the edge of the penalty area.

Chances were at a premium before the break and United carried little threat until late in the first half.

Aaron Heap fizzed a 25-yard shot just wide from Josh Ashby’s pass, before Malachi Napa – the U’s most lively presence – had an effort from just outside the box which flew past the far post off a City defender.

The contest remained tight after the break, when heavy rain made conditions difficult.

The wet surface was a factor in the opening goal, 19 minutes from time, when Paterson’s 25-yard effort skidded in past Niall Clayton.

The goalkeeper made a fine stop to deny Paterson a second goal with the next attack, turning his low shot round the post.

Clayton made an even better stop to keep the tie alive on 79 minutes, tipping Nombe’s fierce shot over the crossbar.

Owen James came closest to an equaliser, but he could not direct his header on target in stoppage-time.

The second semi-final is played next week, when Banbury United face Kidlington at Eynsham Park.

Oxford City: King, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Musonda, Oastler, Stevens (Carter 79), Nombe, Poku, Fofana, Grant, Paterson (Fleet 75), Forde (London 78).

Unused subs: Jones, Matthewman.

Oxford Utd: Clayton, Carr, Berry-Hargreaves, Carroll, Bryan, Ashby, Pekalski (Cowan 71), Napa, Heap (James 65), Hopkins, Noel-Williams.

Unused subs: Harris, Baker, Crooks.