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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

2-4
21 November 2017 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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	English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Blackburn Rovers

A full guide to tonight's game in Sky Bet League 1

21 November 2017

It's sixth against seventh tonight as United welcome a Rovers side one place and two points above them. It's the first league meeting in 25 years and a win would lift the U's into the play-off places, but Tony Mowbray's side have conceded just four goals on the road this season and been beaten only twice in 14 matches...

TEAM NEWS

United boss Pep Clotet is unlikely to make too many changes to the side that beat Plymouth 4-0 away on Saturday but both Gino van Kessel and Agon Mehmeti are expected to be in full training this week and could be involved when the U's head to Southend on Saturday. Defenders Charlie Raglan and Sam Long are back on the training pitches after long term injuries, although Christian Ribeiro (knee) and Curtis Nelson (Achilles) and Rob Hall (knee) are unavailable.

Derek Fazackerley faces the club where he made over 600 appearances as a player while Simon Eastwood will be hoping to do well after spending three seasons as a Rovers player.

TICKET UPDATE

Tickets are on sale online at www.oufctickets.co.uk and from the ticket office in person and by phone (01865 337533). They are also on sale for this match from the club shop in the centre of Oxford. The shop is part of the Market Barbers in the Covered Market; easily accessible from the High Street entrance. It is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm.

CLUB SHOP

The Club Shop has its Black Friday week on, with new deals and bargains every day. Call in before the game to take a look or visit oufcshop.co.uk. Please note that the shop will not be open after the game.

THE PROGRAMME

The award winning matchday programme features the thoughts of Darryl Eales, Pep Clotet and Curtis Nelson plus interviews with Jack Payne and guest of Honour Paul Wanless.

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 tonight:

  • East Stand car park - this will open to supporters at 6pm
  • 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.
  • There will be no access to the East car park from the rear of the North stand.
  • A tweet will go out from @OUFCOfficial to update supporters when the car park is full to allow them to make alternative arrangements.

Away supporters are advised to park in the west and overflow car parks as the rapid expansion crowd management system will be in operation which means there is no transfer from one end of the ground to the other behind the North Stand.

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

FAMILY ROOM

Please note that the Family Room in the North Stand will NOT be open tonight but will be available again on December 9th when we welcome Doncaster Rovers

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 2 Blackburn Rovers 4

U's we beaten by Blackburn. Full time report

21 November 2017

Oxford United were beaten 4-2 at home by promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers tonight, never recovering from a slow start which saw them 3-0 down after a quarter of the game. Two goals from Charlie Mulgrew, one from Marcus Antonsson and a second half effort from Jon Nuttall gave Tony Mowbray's side victory despite goals from Jack Payne and Jon Obikafor the U's.

The night couldn’t have started much worse. Unchanged after the 4-0 win at Plymouth on Saturday, where they had been so impressive, they were behind this time after just five minutes when Bradley Dack’s corner was flicked on at the near post by Paul Downing and skipper Mulgrew steered it home at the back post.

After 17 minutes Rovers doubled their advantage. Aaron Martin got into an awkward position to head clear and when the ball dropped he was beaten to it by Dack. He took it on and got a sight of Eastwood’s goal but even when the keeper saved, the ball squirmed clear to Antonsson who had the simplest of tasks to put the ball into the empty net for his fourth goal in three games.

On 21 it was 3-0 and centre-half Mulgrew was on a hat-trick. Dack was again the cause of the problems, nipping in and touching the ball beyond Dwight Tiendalli who brought him down in the box. Ref John Brooks had no hesitation and Mulgrew did the rest from the spot. If United were to engineer a famous comeback then Blackburn were going to have to concede more in an hour than they had away from home thus far in the entire season...

Payne never gives up and had a shot saved from 20 yards as United tried to claw their way back into things and after a torrid opening period they at last started to pass the ball around and cause problems. Blackburn switched system, dropping an extra man back, but then when you are 3-0 up away from home you are entitled to do that.

They perhaps paid the price right on the break though when Ricardinho joined the attack and fed Payne who worked the space then rifled a fantastic effort across keeper Raya and just inside the far post to give his side hope at half time.

That hope almost turned to hysteria when Ricardinho’s dipping 49th-minute effort from near the touchline looked as though it was going to drop under the bar until Raya tipped it over the top; had that gone in then who knows?

United were now throwing caution to the wind and gambling on finding another goal to make their task implausible rather than impossible. On came Alex Mowatt, who fired an effort just wide, Xemi Fernandez and Jon Obika and with the excellent Payne busting a gut to create chances the game was still alive despite the 3-1 scoreline.

The problem was that Blackburn are a good team and highly adept at the counter attack. Having invited United on to them, the visitors sprung forward with 20 minutes to go and killed the game off with a classic sucker punch. Elliott Bennett made it with a run down the right and a low cross which Nuttall forced home at the near post to make it 4-1.

Still the game wasn't finished and on 84 minutes it was 2-4 when Obika rolled his man and fired across the keeper to score off the base of the right-hand post, his second goal in two games and United's problem doesn't seem to be scoring goals: they were the division's top scorers going into the game. Unfortunately, four goals scored one game, four goals conceded the next mean that United just can't find the consistency that Rovers, with just two defeats in 15 games, are managing right now.

There was plenty of effort, one or two near things, including another Obika shot saved and a Xemi free kick that went close, but the damage had been done far earlier and United will need to lick their wounds and bounce back quickly when they travel to Southend on Saturday.

Att: 6,965

Away: 752

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

See Highlights and reaction in iFollow

 

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