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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

1-2
11 November 2017 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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	English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Northampton Town

A full guide as the U's take on the Cobblers

10 November 2017

Oxford United welcome Northampton Town to Grenoble Road on Saturday in Sky Bet League 1 action (3pm kick off).

THE GAME

United have stuttered in the cups following their first defeat in six league games at Fleetwood. An FA Cup exit at Port Vale was followed by progress in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night despite a 4-3 defeat at the hands of MK Dons in a very entertaining encounter.

United now take on a fast-improving Northampton under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The former Chelsea and Leeds striker has seen his side go five games unbeaten to tee up what should be a fascinating game against the U's.

There is a healthy rivalry between the two sides who were promoted together in 2016, although the Cobblers have had the better of meetings since then - United have yet to beat them in League 1...

TEAM NEWS

United boss Pep Clotet must decide whether to bring left-back Ricardinho back into the squad after a calf strain. The Brazilian has been back in training this week but Pep has said it will be a late decision on whether he returns to action or is given another week to recover.

Gino van Kessel is a week away from a return with fellow striker Agon Mehmeti likely to return to training next week but Mike Williamson is a doubt after picking up a knee injury at Port Vale in the FA Cup.

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 lots of coats and jackets for winter, including a great range of parkas. 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 on Saturday.

THE PROGRAMME

The award winning matchday programme features the thoughts of Darryl Eales, Pep Clotet and Curtis Nelson plus interviews with James Henry and ex U's defender Simon King.

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.

SUGAR SMART

We’re all having too much sugar and it’s bad for our health.

If we consumed less sugar, we’d have better teeth, healthier weight, better concentration and a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Did you know, a 330ml can of soft drink can contain more than a whole day’s recommended intake of sugar for an adult, and much more for a child? A 500ml bottle of soft drink can be 2-3 times that amount!

Oxford United have teamed up with Sugar Smart to try and highlight this problem and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Tomorrow's game will see leaflets, posters and a dance troupe at half time to add to the matchday fun.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 1 Northampton Town 2

U's lose out to Cobblers. Full time report

12 November 2017

Oxford United were beaten 2-1 at home by Northampton this afternoon. A goal from top scorer Wes Thomas was not enough to earn United any reward as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's Northampton revival continued.

Kicking, unusually, towards their own fans in the first half, there were recalls for Ricardinho at left-back and Joe Rothwell in a more central role in midfield but it was a nervy start as United tried to settle.

Eastwood got down to his right in the fifth minute to push a Chris Long flick round the post, then plunged at the same player’s boots two minutes later to reclaim the ball after he had initially taken it round another striker, just because.

Northampton had been knocking and on 12 minutes were in front from a set piece. McGugan’s corner was flicked on and allowed to travel all the way to the back post where Taylor and Aaron Pierre challenged in the air. The ball dropped but was not cleared and Taylor thrashed it home with the ball almost trickling over the line after striking bodies on the way.

Northampton almost doubled the lead when John Joe O’Toole met another McGugan set piece but steered it well wide from eight yards out, and Eastwood needed to make another great save on 22 minutes when the dangerous McGugan fired in a shot that the keeper needed to tip over the bar at full stretch.

Edgy at first, United then started to grow into the game and move the ball better, wingers James Henry and Hall getting more involved and Jack Payne starting to buzz behind front man Wes Thomas. A couple of speculative efforts flew well wide, crosses started to come in and there were encouraging signs, although tempered by an injury to captain Curtis Nelson, who landed awkwardly in the 40th minute and left the field on a stretcher. Nelson’s commitment can never be questioned; even after the injury he made a fantastic block and at one point was crawling forward in the penalty area to try to catch Northampton offside!

Down but not out, United brought on Aaron Martin and before he had touched the ball were level, and then almost instantly behind again! First they were back on level terms when Tiendalli joined the attack and Rothwell slipped the ball through for Thomas to score a typical Thomas goal, finishing inside the left-hand post as the keeper came out to meet him. A clinical finish from United’s top scorer, and parity at half time, surely?

You would have thought so but straight from the restart it was 2-1 to the Cobblers. Ledson lost possession, Martin couldn’t get across and Long ran clear before powering the ball home, almost through the despairing dive of Eastwood. Entertainment and goals aplenty but United behind at the break.

It could have been worse four minutes into the second half when Billy Waters inexplicably sidefooted wide of an empty net, perhaps thanks to a slght touch on the ball from Ricardinho as the cross zipped invitingly across the goal line. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's side were both compact in midfield and dangerous up front.

United had a Thomas header comfortably held by Cobblers' keeper Matt Ingram and there was plenty of energy in the approach play, Rothwell constantly driving forward with the ball, and some near things in the last quarter of the game. Hall looked dangerous and ended a 78th-minute run with a well-struck shot that Ingram was right behind, and then did even better with a long-range effort on 85 that Ingram this time touched over the bar. Thomas had a low strike go just the wrong side of the left-hand post, Ledson had an injury-time shot caught by the keeper, but it was one of those days where nothing quite went United's way.

Att: 8,267

Away: 1,125

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

See highlights and reaction in iFollow

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