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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

3-1
01 January 2018 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v MK Dons

A full guide to New Year's Day as the U's take on the Dons

31 December 2017

Oxford United look to bounce back when they welcome MK Dons to Grenoble Road on New Year's Day (3pm)

TEAM NEWS

United look to bounce back after a 3-2 defeat at Bradford on Saturday. The U's twice pulled themselves back into the game before beaing beaten by the Bantams and Manager Pep Clotet told iFollow:

"We managed to come back but I have to be a bit critical and having got back into the game at 1-1 we then gave it away too cheaply. Going forward we have got to a point where the attitude is very good but we have to all be on top of our game to make sure we get points.

"Bradford were in a tough situation because of their last two results but in the first half they were on the front foot and dominating the challenges and second balls. At half time I didn’t need to remind the players too much because the fighting spirit is always there, we just wanted to make sure that we could use that to come back into the game and try and win.

"Now it’s very important that we start 2018 with three points and that we make our stadium a fortress. The team has woked very hard recently and deserved a bit more than they have got. If we are a little more clinical, especially in the opposition area and when we win the ball back then we can win the game on Monday."

See Pep Clotet's thoughts in full plus an interview with Canice Carroll in iFollow.

THE OPPOSITION

MK Dons had a stormy and remarkable 1-0 win over Peterborough on Saturday, achieved with nine men, plus Manager Robbie Neilson also sent to the stands.

Joe Walsh and Osman Sow were sent off either side of a Chuks Aneke goal as Dons won despite playing with nine men for 68 minutes. 

"The referee lost control of the game" Neilson said. "If you're willing to accept money to officiate a game, you have the responsibility to keep a fitness level and he doesn't do that. I'm sure he'll have a long hard look at himself, and I hope he does, and I'm sure the assessor does because I'm sure he won't be happy with that performance."

"There are a lot of things that went against us - decisions and incidents - but we showed the spirit we need. It's a club that rose against the odds as well.

"We haven't performed well for periods this season. We've had tough times but this shows the character of the team and the club. If a team goes down to nine men and get disillusioned, we lose that game. But we stood up to the plate. It was a massive day.

"It has been a while since we got a result. We've had some really good performances where we haven't picked up maximum points. We work, keep doing the right things and we saw that today. We've jumped up but we want to keep going."

TICKETS

Tickets are on sale online at www.oufctickets.co.uk 24/7 and from the ticket office in person and by phone (01865 337533) from 9.30 on Monday. 

THE PROGRAMME

The award winning matchday programme features the thoughts of Darryl Eales, Pep Clotet and Curtis Nelson plus a great interview with the retiring Christian Ribeiro. We also go On the Road, we chat to Guest of Honour Joey Beauchamp and we have news and views from all areas of the club and remember, you can always read the programme on your phone, tablet or laptop. Each issue is available at matchdayfix.com/oufc/

FOLLOW IT LIVE

iFollow has the whole game live- hear it if you are in the UK, see it if abroad. You can sign up game by game or for the whole season, and we have full 90 minute reruns of every game.

@OUFCOfficial will be tweeting throughout the game and the match centre on this site gives you full stats and text commentary throughout the match. 

 HALF TIME

The JT's Golden Ticket half time draw offers a first prize of up to £750. Second prize is a £100 voucher for the Oxford United club shop, while third prize is a VIP package at JT’s Cocktail Bar.

The draw will take place at half-time and prizes can be collected from the matchday reception immediately after the game or by calling 01865 337528

Look out too for the Racehut Challenge at half time.

GETTING HERE

The new car parking rules are in place once again:

  • East Stand car park - this will open to supporters at midday
  • A car park steward will count vehicles in and the car park will be closed when it is full.
  • Another car park steward will direct drivers to a bay to ensure spaces are filled up systematically; drivers are no longer allowed to park outside of the marked bays.
  • A tweet will go out from @OUFCOfficial to update supporters when the car park is full to allow them to make alternative arrangements.

Additional parking is available on Grenoble Road and in Sandford on Thames.

FAMILY ROOM

The Family Room is open to young fans from all stands. There are games and activities for all ages plus visits from first team players. Join the fun in the corner of the East and North stands from 1.30pm

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 3 MK Dons 1

U's start 2018 with a win. Full time report

1 January 2018

Oxford United kicked off 2018 with an entertaining 3-1 win over MK Dons at Grenoble Road this afternoon. An early goal from top scorer Wes Thomas was cancelled out by a goal from visiting skipper Alex Gilbey before Gino van Kessel gave the U's a half-time lead. They then ensured they started the calendar year with all three points when Jon Obika netted a third goal in the second half.

After the defeat against Wigan in their last home game, it was imperative that United started well and they got off to precisely the sort of start they would have dreamed of. It took just 15 minutes for them to take the lead through a very well-worked goal. Obika made it with a clever piece of play that carried the ball forward on the right while allowing others to join him. He then flicked the ball for van Kessel to take to the line, past a rather weak challenge from a defender. He cut the ball back for Thomas to slot home a simple finish from six yards out for his ninth of the season.

MK, fresh from a remarkable win over Peterborough with just nine men, understandably looked tired in the opening exchanges but had a low drive from Gilbey pushed away for a corner after 24 minutes from which they got themselves back on level terms.The corner was nicely flighted, George Williams flicked it on and Gilbey was at the back post to force it home and make it 1-1.

It was entertaining stuff and Obika might have restored the lead on the half hour when a clever quick throw from Canice Carroll got United flowing forward again and the striker just leaned back as he struck his effort goalwards from the penalty spot, the ball smashing off the bar when the goal beckoned.

Nothing comes easy in this league and the Dons should have taken the lead themselves when Kieran Agard sent a free header wide after 34 minutes, but United had been on top for much of the half and were 2-1 up at the break when the excellent Payne weaved through three men and smashed in a low effort which Lee Nicholls seemed to gather in but never quite had total control of. The alert Thomas stole the loose ball from the keeper’s grasp and Ryan Ledson squared it for van Kessel, who did the rest with another simple finish to make it 2-1 at the interval.

The Yellows were grateful to keeper Simon Eastwood for a very good save from Agard early in the second half but swiftly missed a much better chance at the opposite end when an excellent pass from Josh Ruffels left Thomas with just the keeper to beat, only for him to power it straight at Nicholls rather than either side of him.

Gilbey rounded Eastwood after 57 minutes but couldn't force the ball past the covering defenders and a minute later Obika punished such wastefulness. Racing away down the left the striker knew that the unmarked Thomas was to his right but chose instead to go for goal and Nicholls, horribly exposed once more, had no answer as United opened up a 3-1 lead. Two goals in two games for Obika who was excellent throughout and is starting to build up a good understanding with Thomas in a two-man attack.

United were in control but fortunate when Canice Carroll's attempted clearance came back off the bar after 67 minutes and life then got harder for the last nine minutes when an uncharacteristic flying tackle from Ricardinho on Conor McGrandles led to a deserved straight red card. 

United will have to adjust at the back when they welcome Blackpool on Saturday but today they dropped in, tackled like demons and even had time to bring on Malachi Napa for a league debut with three minutes to go.

A win, three well taken goals and a very good start to the new year. See you on Saturday.

Att: 7,628

Away: 650

Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels, stats by OPTA

See highlights and reaction in iFollow

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