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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

26 March 2021 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Lincoln City

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

26 March 2021

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Oxford United welcome Lincoln City to the Kassam Stadium in Sky Bet League 1 this evening (7.45pm)

The U's look to bounce back after two defeats in a row but come up against a Lincoln side led by former U's boss Michael Appleton.

United will be without Rob Hall who hobbled off after a hefty challenge in the friendly against Bristol Rovers in midweek. The winger will wait on the results of a scan but will not be involved tonight and there were one or two knocks for other players during Tuesday night's defeat at Northampton.

Karl Robinson will look at all his options and is hoping that Elliot Lee and James Henry are available again after injury. The good news this week was that Sam Long is back in training and could return next Friday at Sunderland. Malachi Napa yesterday completed his move to Woking.

See Karl and Dan Agyei previewing the game in iFollow now.

Imps boss Michael Appleton knows his side are facing a difficult task this evening against the U’s.

“They’ve got a good squad, a strong squad” he said “They’ve been in and around it for the last couple of seasons. They’re certainly a talented side with match-winners in the team.

“But there’s not one of the remaining ten games that’s not going to be difficult. I think you’ve seen in the results over the last six or seven weeks there isn’t a ‘gimme’ in this league

“It’s that time of the season where people do make mistakes because of the pressure on the games. There’s tiredness; not just physically – mentally, the amount of games we’ve had to play. Friday night will be no different. It might come down to someone just mentally switching off, rather than anything to do with tactics”.

Our thanks to Smiths Bletchington who are sponsoring the matchFind out all about them HERE

The game is live on Sky Sports, where former U's forward Jamie Mackie is one of the studio guests.

Season Ticket holders can watch the game on iFollow as usual and audio passes are available 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 7pm.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 2 Lincoln City 1

Taylor goal helps the U's beat the Imps. Full time report

26 March 2021

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Oxford United moved level with the play-off places when they came from a goal down to beat Lincoln City 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium tonight. Trailing to an early Tony Scully goal, United leveled through sub Anthony Forde and then saw top scorer Matty Taylor earn them all three points as he tapped home his 14th goal of the season.

James Henry, back in the side after injury and outstanding until he tired afer an hour, floated in an early free kick which Rob Atkinson headed wide, but United were behind inside three minutes when the Imps overloaded the left-hand side, Morgan Rogers rolled in Tayo Edun and Scully rolled the ball past the helpless Jack Stevens from six yards out.

United didn’t panic after the early setback and began to play their way back into the game. Chances started to come. Henry rifled a decent effort just wide after 18 minutes and then blasted a second effort through the fingers of keeper Alex Palmer before the ball was cleared by covering defender Lewis Montsma.

They should have been level soon after when a clever corner routine set up Ruffels for a shot which Palmer pushed away, and as Jamie Hanson and Atkinson converged a nudge by Harry Anderson sent Hanson into Atkinson and meant the chance was missed. Ruffels limped off after twisting for the first effort but on 28 the U's were deservedly level as his replacement Forde scored with his first touch.

A corner was headed forward by Elliott Moore. Taylor protected it, Moore stabbed at goal again and when the ball ran for Forde he drove it past Palmer to make it 1-1.

260321 lincoln (9).jpg

United were perhaps fortunate when Stevens upended Anderson just before the break, receiving a yellow card and saving the free kick to rub salt into Lincoln’s wounds, but they had shown a bit of spirit to get back into the game and deserved parity at half time.

Ten minutes into the second half they were ahead. Henry paved the way by first winning the ball and then whipping in a superb cross which Mark Sykes headed at goal. Palmer palmed and Taylor, as usual, was in the right place to put the rebound into the net for a typical Taylor goal.

Now it was Lincoln's turn to try and retaliate. Stevens got down well to save a James Jones drive then raced off his line to stop Scully but United were defending well; Jamie Hanson rattled into tackles with his usual enthusiasm and Cameron Brannagan did a terrific job just in front of the back four.

Hanson hammered a header wide on 78, Barker forced Palmer into a save on 87, but Lincoln had faded after the break and most of the TV audience would probably have said that in the end the better team won.

A terrific win and great character to beat a side that have been above them all season, especially after going a goal down so early.

Nine to go. You never know...

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

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