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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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11 August 2018 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 Fleetwood Town

A full guide to the first home game of the seaso

10 August 2018

Oxford United kick off their home campaign with a Sky Bet League 1 game against Fleetwood Town on Saturday. Here we have the full guide to the game

Team News

New signing Ricky Holmes stands by for a first appearance after joining from Sheffield United on loan on Deadline Day. The former Barnet, Portsmouth and Northampton winger would be a ready made replacement for Samir Carruthers who will be out for at least a couple of months with a knee injury.

Fellow new boy Jamie Hanson is unlikely to feature with a slight calf strain that will keep him out until next week, while Tsun Dai, who signed from Bury on Thursday, could be on the bench.

The Opposition

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton is looking for his team to gel despite an opening day defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

“The main thing is settling everyone down,” he said. “We have lots to do here. The team finished 14th last year off the back of a little bit of resurgence later in the campaign. There was a period when we thought we would be managing a League Two club.

“We knew there was a lot of work to do and nothing has changed. We are focused, getting stronger and better every day. From the moment we walked into the football club everything we have done has progressed us, bar 90 minutes on Saturday but we can live with that.

“If you give me a seven-week block when we have just 90 minutes of brain-freeze I will take that. You have to believe in the process.”

Tickets

You can save time and money by printing tickets at home after ordering online HERE. The ticket office is open to personal callers from 12.15pm.

Half time

The Polythene UK half-time draw offers huge cash prizes and reverts to its old style this season: one large cash prize. Tickets are available all around the ground.

Club Shop

The club shop has the brilliant new home and away kits available in all sizes and can now offer the official letters and numbers for this season. Call in before or after the game or visit oufcshop.co.uk.

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.

Coverage

iFollow is back with full commentary on the game, thanks to our friends at BBC Oxford. If you live outside the UK and Ireland then you can see the whole game and hear the BBC Oxford commentary. Online season tickets are available...

There will also be reaction from the key men after the game, and you can follow all the action on Twitter at @OUFCOfficial.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Fleetwood Town 2

Fleetwood frustrate the U's again. Full time report

11 August 2018

Oxford United's wretched record against Fleetwood continued with a 2-0 defeat at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon. United's ninth game against the Cod Army ended in their eighth defeat (the other match was a draw) when Ched Evans scored a simple goal and Paddy Madden slotted home a penalty to give the visitors a 2-0 win.

There was an enforced change in the warm up when Simon Eastwood dislocated a finger and had to be replaced by Scott Shearer: the first league game that Eastwood has missed in his third season back at the club. Perhaps that was an omen for what was to follow.

It was another new face, Ricky Holmes who caught the eye and was the outstanding player on the day, twice being hauled down en route to goal early on, with Tony McMahon seeing a free kick deflected wide from the second. Holmes then hurt his arm when closing down a defender to set up Sam Smith for the first chance of his home debut, but United were bright and inventive enough with the front four of Smith, Holmes, Rob Hall and Jamie Mackie probing for weaknesses in the Cod Army defence without truly creating further chances in the first half

United hadn't looked troubled too much at the other end where Fleetwood had defended stoutly but Joey Barton's side also looked dangerous on the break and on 34 minutes were a goal ahead. There was a little bit of luck in the build up where Rob Dickie won a 50/50 challenge but saw the ball cannon back towards the United goal. With Dickie stranded Kyle Dempsey had that empty space to move forwards and a simple pass across the goal cut out Shearer and the defence and allowed Evans to apply the easiest finish into an empty net to make it 1-0.

It might have been two when Dempsey lost his footing as he tried to finish a break that saw four Fleetwood men charging at the vastly outnumbered Luke Garbutt but to concede a second would have been harsh on the U's who had enjoyed more of the possession before the break and continued to do so in the second half without truly testing Alex Cairns in the Cod Army net.

The closest effort came from Jamie Mackie who cleverly headed a Holmes cross back across the keeper but just the wrong side of the post after 58 minutes, with United 4-4-2 by then as they chased the game, Marcus Browne coming on for his debut for the final 25 minutes or so.

The on-loan West Ham forward's first action earned a booking before he had touched the ball - United's first yellow card of the season - but that at least signalled a bit of passion as the U's tried to raise the tempo and the visitors tried to slow things down.

United did their best and were certainly much improved from their opening day performance at Barnsley but with two minutes to go the game was over when former United winger Wes Burns charged forward and the sliding Shearer tripped him to allow Madden to thump the penalty past him and give Fleetwood all three points.

Two defeats in the opening two games. Still a long long way to go, but plenty of work clearly to do as United's new squad look to gel.

Att: 6,689
Away: 87

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

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