WORCESTER City's battle against relegation looks set to receive a shot in the arm with rivals Oxford City facing a three-point deduction.

Oxford have been hit with the penalty for fielding an ineligible player against the Blue and Whites in their Skrill North match on December 8 at Aggborough.

Midfielder Liam Malone played in the fixture when he should have been serving a one-match ban for five yellow cards.

Oxford admitted the Football Association charge last month, were fined £400 and warned as to their future conduct.

But the Football Conference are now set to deduct the three points Oxford took from the match with a 2-0 victory.

It would see the third-from-bottom Marsh Lane side, who have 14 days to appeal, drop to 21 points and below Gloucester City.

That would give Carl Heeley's side a 13-point cushion above the drop-zone, while there would also be a six-point gap between Stalybridge Celtic in 19th and the bottom three.

It makes Worcester's 2-1 home victory over Stalybridge at the weekend even more vital in their bid to stay up.

Oxford still have five games in hand on Heeley's side but the Worcester manager would much rather have the points on the board.

He said: “The games in hand are irrelevant really because they (the teams at the bottom) have got to play each other and they can’t all win the games.

"This season we’ve tried to focus on what we’re good at because if we win games it doesn’t matter who wins below us, they’re not going to get any closer to us.”

Meanwhile, Heeley has praised the fans for their continued support in the club's exile at Kidderminster.

A crowd of 531 watched the Stalybridge game, in which Daniel Nti and substitute Aaron Williams scored to give City the double for the season over their Bower Fold opponents.

Attendances have held up better than expected since the departure from St George's Lane and the City boss believes they are playing their part in the relegation battle.

He said: “The number of fans who are travelling here has been absolutely wonderful and credit to them.

"I want to do well for this club and so do all my players and staff but I think we’re forgetting as well that our supporters want us to do well.

"If we all stick together and they cheer us on then we’ll be fine, I’m very confident of that.”