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Match Reports

OXFORD 1 TOWN 1

19 March 2022

Late heartbreak at Kassam Stadium

Luke McNally's stoppage time header denied Town three points at Oxford.

Bersant Celina had looked to have won the game for the Blues with his 69th minute strike but the U's struck with seconds remaining to steal a share of the points.

Joe Pigott replaced the injured Kayden Jackson with Tom Carroll also returning as Kieran McKenna’s other change. Sam Morsy was named on the bench. 

Janoi Donacien captained the Blues while  Luke Woolfenden made it 100 appearances for the Club at Kassam Stadium.

Cameron Burgess vs Oxford (A).JPG

Woolfenden had an early chance to open the scoring but, after Conor Chaplin’s deep free-kick fell to his feet, the centre-back’s low shot was blocked. 

Gavin Whyte brought Christian Walton into action at the other end shortly afterwards as the Town ‘keeper got down well to parry the midfielder’s effort. 

Most of the play took place in the middle of the park as both sides looked to take control of proceedings. 

Ryan Williams hit a volley into the floor and wide of the mark as Oxford had the next opening of note midway through the half after Mark Sykes’ shot was deflected into his path.

The best chance yet came with six minutes of the half remaining. Burns ran at his man before playing a one-two with Carroll to work his way into the box. The wing-back’s shot with the outside of his right boot looked to be falling narrowly wide with the ball cannoning off a defender and goalkeeper Simon Eastwood as the hosts were inches away from netting an own goal.

Wes Burns vs Oxford (A).JPG

Town began to gain more control of the game after the interval, with Morsy and Macauley Bonne introduced from the bench just six minutes into the second period. 

Oxford 'keeper Eastwood made the first save of the second half just under 15 minutes later, collecting Burns’ shot from range that had deflected up off of the leg of Cameron Brannagan. 

The Blues’ second half dominance paid off on 69 minutes as they broke the deadlock. Chaplin released Burns with a sublime outside-of-the-foot pass, with the wideman squaring across the box for Celina to stroke into the back of the net from six yards.

Cele vs Oxford (A).JPG

Tyreeq Bakinson was inches away from doubling the lead moments later. Once again, Celina was heavily involved as the Kosovan danced his way past three defenders before teeing up the Bristol City loanee to curl just past Eastwood’s left post. Morsy was denied from close range by a block after good work from Bonne shortly afterwards.

There was to be a late sucker punch as McNally headed a corner into the back of the net with seconds remaining to snatch a point for the hosts.

Oxford: Eastwood, McNally, Long, Brown (Holland 83'), Sykes, Williams, Kane, Brannagan (C), Bodin (McGuane 67’), Whyte (Winnall 87'), Taylor.

Subs: Stevens, Forde, Mousinho, Seddon.

Booked: Williams.

Town: Walton, Donacien (C), Woolfenden, Burgess, Burns, Bakinson, Carroll (Morsy 52’), Thompson, Chaplin, Celina (Aluko 86'), Pigott (Bonne 52’). 

Subs: Hladky, Baggott, Penney, Norwood.

Booked: Burns, Bonne.

Attendance: 11,029 (1,787 Town fans).


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