Town lose out 0-3 to Oxford United.
Town: Joel Coleman, Ryan Haynes (Abo Eisa, 88), Omar Beckles, Greg Docherty (Josh Laurent, 64), Lee Angol (Aaron Amadi-Holloway, 52), Fejiri Okenabirhie, James Bolton, Luke Waterfall, Josh Emmanuel, Ollie Norburn, Anthony Grant.
Subs: Steve Arnold, Mat Sadler, Alex Gilliead, Aaron Amadi-Holloway, Josh Laurent, Abo Eisa, Ryan Barnett.
Oxford: Simon Eastwood, Rob Dickie, Curtis Nelson, Cameron Brannagan, Ricky Holmes (Jamie Hanson, 84), Josh Ruffels, John Mousinho, Gavin Whyte, James Henry (Marcus Browne, 73), Jamie Mackie (Sam Smith, 90), Tony McManahon.
Subs: Scott Shearer, Luke Garbutt, Jamie Hanson, Sam Smith, Marcus Browne, Samir Carruthers, Sam Long.
Referee: Marin Coy
Assistants: Samuel Ogles and Lisa Rashid
Fourth official: Craig Taylor
Attendance: 8697 (594)
A disappointing afternoon for Town came to an end with Oxford United three nil winners.
Josh Ruffels, Gavin Whyte and Marcus Browne were the goal scorers for The U’s on the day.
John Askey named the same starting 11 that beat Barnsley 3-1 on Tuesday. However, introduced to the bench for his return from injury was Abo Eisa, who replaced Lenell John-Lewis.
The start of the game didn’t go to plan for Town. After an early stint of pressure, The U’s managed to win a corner and Josh Ruffels hung in the air well to poke home a header – giving the home side the lead after three minutes.
Oxford settled really well into the game and were starting to look comfortable. Despite not having many chances, The U’s took the second one they had. Gavin Whyte managed to latch onto a cross and head the ball into the corner past Joel Coleman – doubling the score line.
Despite the early deficit Town were still looking to play good football and Askey’s men were moving well and creating space, but the Oxford back line were doing a good job to seal out any dangerous play near their box.
During the latter stages of the half neither team were looking a threat. Town were trying to progress forward, but the home side were keeping Town at bay in the middle of the park.
Town went into the break two goals down after a disappointing half. Town moved the ball well, but Askey’s men were unable to create any chances at the other end of the pitch.
Town started the second-half in a more dangerous fashion. Town were doing well to trouble the Oxford defence and were putting good crosses into the box, but no Shrews head could be found.
Lee Angol was given a yellow card in the 50th minute for a late tackle on Whyte.
Luke Waterfall nearly halved the deficit for Town in the 65th minute but was denied by a great save from Simon Eastwood. Town’s defender latched onto the end of Ollie Norburn’s cross to fire a powerful header towards goal, but Eastwood got two strong hands to the ball to parry it away.
Town were the side looking the more likely outfit to score, but the home side’s defence remained strong and Town were struggling to find a way through the Oxford back line.
The score line was extended to three goals in the 86th minute. Norburn’s pass bounced off the referee and saw Oxford break on the counter-attack. Marcus Browne did well to run into the box and slip the ball into the corner of the goal.
The game came to an end with the home side the victors. United did well to take their chances, which gave the home side a three nil win.