THREE goals in 13 second-half minutes sunk Oxford City as they fell to a 4-1 defeat to Braintree Town at Court Place Farm.

The sides were level at 0-0 at the midway point of the Vanarama National League South clash, before Jordan Chiedoze broke the deadlock eight minutes after the restart.

Charley O’Keefe and Liam Smyth put the strugglers firmly in control, before Jaanai Gordon pulled a goal back late on.

But there was still time for Josh Oyinson to make it four in the dying seconds.

The hosts looked more likely to score before the break, but were left to rue missed chances.

Zac McEachran showed great feet in the 18th minute before squaring to Nana Owusu, but Michael Johnson repelled the shot.

Reece Fleet had an effort blocked seven minutes before half-time as the visitors held firm.

Braintree had tumbled down the table after losing their last five games, but took a surprise lead through Chiedoze.

City looked to get back on level terms almost immediately and Owusu was close to scoring a superb individual strike, taking the ball past two opponents before forcing a save from Johnson.

But shortly after the hour mark it was 2-0, O’Keefe giving the home side a mountain to climb.

Josh Ashby, returning from a two-match ban, tried his luck from kick-off, but Johnson tipped the midfielder’s audacious effort around the post.

Yet Braintree cleared the resulting corner and launched a counter-attack, which Smyth finished clinically.

Andy Ballard threw on Stefan Brown and Gordon for Elliot Benyon and Kyran Lofthouse in a bid to get back into the game.

With 12 minutes left, Brown had an effort saved, but Gordon made no mistake when he slotted home in the 87th minute.

There was to be no comeback, however, as Oyinson rubbed salt in the City wounds in the second minute of stoppage time.

Oxford City: Harris, Jones, Ashby, Moore-Azille, Oastler, Fleet, Benyon (Brown 69), McEachran, Owusu, Berkoe, Lofthouse (Gordon 69).

Unused subs: Jefford, Wiltshire, George.

Attendance: 601.