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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

16 March 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 Doncaster Rovers

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

16 March 2021

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Oxford United welcome Doncaster Rovers to the Kassam Stadium tonight in Sky Bet League 1 (7pm)

The U's look to close a four point gap to the play-off places but will again be without several key players.

Anthony Forde is unavailable due to a family bereavement and that adds to the absence of James Henry, Sam Long, John Mousinho, Marcus McGuane and Sam Winnall who are all injured.

Winnall is the closest to a return, perhaps even as early as Saturday when the U's are at home to Blackpool, but none of the injured players will make the squad tonight while young defender Luke McNally is expected to join full training next week.

Midfielder Leon Chambers-Parillon is again included in the squad as he steps up from the Under 21 side.

See Karl and Josh Ruffels previewing the game in iFollow now.

Fifth-placed Rovers will be without the injured Omar Bogle, John Bostock and Josh Sims while forward Jon Taylor is out for the rest of the season.

Boss Andy Butler, who has stepped up since Darren Moore left for Sheffield Wednesday has seen his side lose their last four away matches but was keen to find the positives as his side stay in the play-off places.

“You don’t usually get these amounts of games (left)” he said “but you can pick up a lot of points in a short period of time and that is the message to the players – use these games to your advantage and if you win a couple, you can come out a little bit higher up than you would going Saturday to Saturday.

“Winning breeds confidence and the way you perform on the pitch can show in the dressing room and you see the players smiling and enjoying training.

“No-one wants to be in a losing dressing room because it is a hard place to be in. If we can use those experiences from the older players to encourage the younger ones to keep persevering when times are not going well, we will be better for their experience.”

Our thanks to Bradford Decorating who are sponsoring the matchFind out all about them HERE

The game is live in iFollow as usual and Match Passes are available HERE

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 You Tube 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 3 Doncaster Rovers 0

U's move within a point of the play-offs

16 March 2021

Sponsored by

Oxford United moved to within a point of the play-off places as a superb first half paved the way for a 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at the Kassam Stadium this evening.

Two goals from Matty Taylor and a third goal right on half time from Mide Shodipo saw them outplay the team in fifth place in the table and propel themselves ever upwards as the season starts to come to a boil.

Rovers, who have now lost five away games in a row, got a couple of good blocks in at vital moments in the opening exchanges but were overrun for almost all of a one-sided first half.

They weren’t penned in - Elliott Moore and Jamie Hanson made brave blocks - but United created the better chances throughout, with Brandon Barker and Shodipo on the opposite wing running riot.

On 18 minutes it was Barker’s power that paved the way for the opener. The on-loan Rangers winger powered past right-back Brad Halliday and chased the ball to the line before squaring for Taylor, whose initial path to goal was blocked but not his second, a low effort beating Jones and putting United ahead with 18 minutes gone.

160321 doncaster (3).jpg

Jones made one amazing save and a defender deflected a Moore shot over the bar as United pressed for a second goal, and although there were a couple of dangerous moments at the other end, United were full value for their lead.

What they needed was a killer second goal. Instead they got two.

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Four minutes before the break they doubled the advantage when Ruffels headed goalwards at the back post and Taylor flicked home from close range. It got even better when Shodipo got in on the action on 45, calmly firing across the helpless Jones for his 11th goal of the season from a Barker pass, as United stormed into a 3-0 half-time lead that they never looked like surrendering.

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It was damage limitation for the visitors after that and Jones single-handedly kept United out at the start of the second half, pushing away two Shodipo shots and a Brannagan blast - the midfielder running the show and having his best game since he returned to the side; Liam Kelly was a willing accomplice and Alex Gorrin knitted everything together expertly.

United were guilty of trying to walk the ball in at times; one move early in the second half saw at least three invitations to shoot turned down as they over-elaborated inside the box, but they had 11 shots on target to Doncaster's four. Sub Dan Agyei shaved both posts with powerful drives as well, and United were full value for both a clean sheet and a win that leaves them within touching distance of the play-off places.

It's already been an amazing season. Who knows how it is going to end...

Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels/Rex/Shutterstock, stats by OPTA

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