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Mark Jones and Oxford City parted company before big cup draw

Mark Jones

Mark Jones has left Oxford City by ‘mutual consent’, only hours before seeing his side draw Solihull Moors in the first round proper of the FA Cup.

Jones, pictured, stepped down on Monday afternoon despite guiding City into Monday night’s televised draw with a 2-1 win over Margate in Oxfordshire on Saturday in the cup’s final qualifying round.

A former Hoops player who made over 100 appearances for the club, he left Marsh Lane just under three years after taking the reins.

According to a club statement, director of football Justin Merritt and assistant manager Andy Ballard will take charge of first team affairs as an interim management team.

TOUCHLINE RETURN: Justin Merritt

Jones succeeded Merritt as manager in December 2016 when he stepped down to focus on youth development.

Merrit and Ballard will be supported by goalkeeping coach Alan Foster and coach Ross Jenkin as they prepare to host third-placed Slough Town on Saturday.

Jones guided City to a respectable 12th placed finish last term but leaves with the club second from bottom after collecting just ten points from their opening 13 league games.

The club said: “Following discussions today we must announce that by mutual consent Oxford City Football Club and first team manager Mark Jones have parted company,” a statement on the club’s official website reads.

“It goes without saying this was a very difficult decision for the club with Mark’s history as a player coach and manager at the club.

“We would like to thank Mark for his efforts and achievements during his time as manager. We wish him well with his future aspirations.”

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