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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

4-1
13 April 2021 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Shrewsbury Town

A full guide to tonight's game at the Kassam Stadium

13 April 2021

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Oxford United welcome Shrewsbury Town to the Kassam Stadium this evening (7pm)

The U's look to build on a club record equalling 6-0 win at Crewe on Saturday as they enter the final six games of the season still chasing the play-off places.

TEAM NEWS
There were no new injuries at Gresty Road and a five goal advantage with 40 minutes to play allowed Karl Robinson to make five changes from the bench and rest any tired legs.

Josh Ruffels scored on his return to the side after injury and was reunited with Sam Long as United's regular full backs, Long signing a new deal with the club yesterday.

Rob Hall is back in full training after an ankle problem with Alex Gorrin also close to a return after a thigh injury.

See Karl and Sam Long previewing the game in iFollow now.

THE OPPOSITIONShrewsbury drew 0-0 at Gillingham on Saturday to put them on the 50 point mark

Manager Steve Cotterrill is still recovering after illness but First Team Coach David Longwell believes the Shrews are starting to play more expansive football now that they have pulled away from the danger zone.

“Our players were excellent at times on Saturday, to defend so well against Gillingham, because they are really hard to play against. We come from there probably disappointed not to get three points and then go to Oxford, who are a completely different style, but we have a lot of trust in the players, very rarely they’ve let us down this season, there’s an honesty and trust between the manager and players.”

“There’s a progression about how we take the team forward. We had to win games, be good defensively and build from that base. As that’s gone on the gaffer’s then implementing, can we play a little more football? Can we build that through? The players want to play with that style, we’ve got good footballers in there.”

MATCH SPONSORS
Our thanks to Charles Peters Recruitment who are sponsoring the matchFind out all about them HERE

COVERAGE
Season Ticket holders can watch the game on iFollow as usual and Match Passes are available HERE to hear the full game live courtesy of 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 6.15pm.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 4 Shrewsbury Town 1

U's beat the Shrews - read the full-time report

13 April 2021

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Oxford United moved to within one place and one win of a play-off place with a second successive convincing win this evening.

After a 6-0 win at Crewe on Saturday, United continued where they left off with a 4-1 win over Shrewsbury Town. Goals from Rob Atkinson, Elliot Lee, Matty Taylor and Sam Long gave them the win, with the Shrews only truly causing concern at the start of the second half when Harry Chapman got them back in to the game at 2-1.

United did it despite being hampered when Brandon Barker was forced off after just five minutes with what looked like a knee problem.They overcame that pretty quickly and on 13 minutes were ahead when Atkinson thumped home a header from a deep corner from James Henry, the defender’s first goal for the club in a massively impressive first season.

130421 shrewsbury (15).jpg

He nearly got his second ten minutes later but was unable to guide his header on target this time, and by that stage United were dominating the game, not just from Henry’s excellent set pieces but also from open play, where Long's and Lee’s growing understanding was creating plenty of problems down the right flank in particular.

Lee went close, Long even closer and the on 36 it was 2-0 and United were, temporarily at least, cruising again. Mide Shodipo, on for Barker, crossed, Taylor touched on and Lee spun on a sixpence to wrong foot goalkeeper Matija Sarkic and make a tricky finish look simple.

130421 shrewsbury (7).jpg

When the Shrews did get a sight at goal, captain Elliott Moore made a superb challenge to block Chapman and for the second game in a row United seemed to be in complete control at the break, even if they had scored from their only two efforts on goal.

Nobody mentioned it to Shrewsbury, clearly. Rather than accept their fate and the inevitable 'taming of' headlines, the Shrews roared back and were back in the contest straight after the break when a deep cross was taken down neatly by Chapman who drilled it past Jack Stevens to make it 2-1 and open the game up again.

It took a decent save from Stevens to stop the same player levelling on 57 minutes, but United really should have been two goals up again on 61 when Shodipo fed Taylor for a run at goal only for a poor final touch to take him too close to the keeper, who blocked his shot with his body.

The one thing you know about Taylor is that he won't brood on a miss like that. Four minutes later and a flowing move started by the excellent Ruffels saw Henry in space and he slipped a cute pass through for Taylor who thrashed into the roof of the net for a well-taken 15th goal of the season.

2 130421 shrewsbury 2nd (8).jpg

Shrewsbury, safely on 50 points and with little to prove, stuck to their guns and played some neat football, but United refused to accept that their own season is over and done with and on 76 were three goals ahead when Long, denied from a set piece initially, was alert enough to seize on the loose ball and fire it in to the roof of the net to make it 4-1.

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Back-to-back wins and ten goals scored to one against. Even more remarkably, ten goals from ten different goalscorers! Talk abut everyone playing their part.

This season has set all sorts of strange records. Keep the faith - who knows where the adventure is going to end.

Five to go. You never know...

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

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