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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

24 April 2021 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 Plymouth Argyle

A full guide to Saturday's Sky Bet League 1 game at the Kassam Stadium

23 April 2021

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Oxford United welcome Plymouth Argyle to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday in Sky Bet League 1 (3pm)

The U's need a win to keep their push for the play-offs alive while Plymouth will be keen to bounce back after a heavy defeat in midweek.

United are without Brandon Barker who is still suffering from a hamstring problem and won't be risked. James Henry serves a one game suspension after his red card at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night while Cameron Brannagan is recovering from a dead leg suffered in the same game and is rated doubtful.

Rob Hall and Luke McNally stand by to come in to the squad if required.

See Karl and Rob Atkinson previewing the game in iFollow now.

Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe is looking for a positive reaction after a 6-0 defeat against Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.

“We have addressed the lads, they are aware of all the situations that went on. They understand, they know it wasn’t good enough but it has gone and there is nothing we can do about it. We have just got to make sure we put on a better showing than we did on Tuesday.

“We didn’t punish them in terms of them doing 20 laps around the pitch. That’s not what I’m about, that’s not what I would do. No-one likes losing 6-0, let alone losing at all. They knew what was wrong and how it went wrong and we just hope that we don’t see one ever again.”

“The challenge now for the next three games is for the lads to go and pit their wits against some good players and some good football clubs. We have got Oxford, Sunderland and Gillingham, all fighting for different things.‘Go and be the best you can’. That’s the message to the boys.”

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Season Ticket holders can watch the game on iFollow as usual and Match Passes are available HERE to see the full game with live commentary from our friends at BBC Oxford Sport

We have all the build up on twitter and on our official Insta page, complete with behind the scenes exclusive content, plus a full report and Gallery right here on the final whistle and reaction from all the key men in iFollow.

Join us on the official YouTube channel for 'Matchday Live', available to help you get in to matchday mode from 2.15pm.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 3 Plymouth Argyle 1

Taylor double takes United back in to the play-offs. Full time report

24 April 2021

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Oxford United moved back in to the top six as two goals from Matty Taylor won them the first of three 'must win games' at the end of the season. Leading through an own goal from Plymouth skipper Joe Edwards, United should have been comfortably ahead by the break but, having missed chances,  allowed Niall Ennis to equalise before two quick goals from top scorer Taylor kept their season very much alive.

Given the need for three points, United fielded an attacking line up and should have had the game wrapped up by half time. Rob Atkinson was inches away inside the first minute, gliding a header just the wrong side of the post, and Mide Shodipo nodded wide of the other upright two minutes later. Mark Sykes thumped a shot into keeper Mike Cooper’s gloves and Dan Agyei headed another chance over the top, all before we had reached eight minutes!

Plymouth, fresh from a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Charlton, weathered that early storm and then hit the outside of the post through Byron Moore with their only real chance of the first half, but Cooper at the other end was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers, having to come out quickly to throw himself in front of the advancing Sykes and grateful that a Shodipo curler started a couple of feet too wide.

240421 plymouth (9).jpg

In the end, Plymouth did United’s job for them, gifting them the opener after 28 minutes. Elliot Lee’s free kick was beautifully delivered and there were a string of United players waiting to convert it, but captain Edwards saved them a task, throwing himself at the ball and only succeeding in diverting it past the wrong-footed Cooper for an own goal.240421 plymouth (11).jpg

Cooper made another excellent save from Sykes and Taylor hit the keeper’s legs with a header as United continued to throw everything at Argyle without finding a second goal that would have killed the game off at half time.

That left the door open for the visitors and it took a good block from the excellent Rob Atkinson and a fine tackle from Sam Long to keep United ahead early in the second half as Ryan Lowe's side came at them. On 65 minutes they were level when Danny Mayor drove at the defence and slipped the ball into the left channel for Ennis, who showed excellent composure to curl the ball home across Stevens to level things and briefly move the U's back out of their half-time place in the play-offs.

Season over? Nope. This is going right to the wire and three minutes later United were back in the top six when Taylor put them back in front with his 16th goal of the season. Sykes made it but Taylor is the poacher supreme and was at the near post to barrel the ball past Cooper and just ease any nerves that might have been creeping in.

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Captain Elliott Moore was unlucky with a 78th-minute effort that got a slight deflection over the bar, but it mattered little as from the resulting corner the ball was nodded goalwards and Taylor, even closer this time, touched it home for a priceless goal that puts him on to 17 for the season and keeps things alive as United go into their final two matches of a long, hard season in the highest position they have been.

Other teams have games in hand, that is out of United's control. All they can do is try to win their remaining two matches, at Shrewsbury and then at home to Burton Albion, and see where it takes them.

The Oxford Trilogy part one, successfully won. On to the next...

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

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