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Kick off 18:00 (UK)

18 May 2021 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 18:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Blackpool

A full guide to tonight's Sky Bet League 1 play-off1 semi-final

18 May 2021

Sponsored by

Oxford United welcome Blackpool to the Kassam Stadium this evening (6pm) for the Sky Bet League 1 play-off semi-final first leg.

The U's look to make home advantage count ahead of Friday's rematch at Bloomfield Road and with fans at the game for the first time in 2021 it promises to be a night to remember.

United welcome back Brandon Barker who wasn't risked in the game against Burton that sealed a play-off place. The on-loan Rangers winger remained on the bench for that game but is fully fit and available and pushes Elliot Lee and Mide Shodipo for one of the wide roles alongside Matty Taylor.

Player of the Season Sam Long is the one major doubt after limping off with a hamstring problem against Burton; Jamie Hanson and Anthony Forde stand by as potential right-back cover.

Long term absentees John Mousinho and Marcus McGuane are again ruled out but making good progress.

See Karl and Jack Stevens previewing the game in iFollow now.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley told the official Blackpool website:

“We knew after the Bristol Rovers game that we had over a week without a fixture, so we always had a plan. Getting that balance right between rest, work, relaxation and preparation is key. We’re all really eager to get going for what will be two really tough matches.

“You have to look at these two matches a bit differently,” he continued.

“You have to focus on the things you can control – what you can guarantee and what you can bring onto the pitch, but there might be areas that you haven’t faced before this season.

“The prospect of playing back in front of supporters again is something we are all looking forward to as well as the games being live on television, so there’s a few changes to what would be a regular game.

“These games are full of emotion and drama. The psychological aspect of these games is different to your normal league game, but we’re ready, excited and looking forward to it.”

Our thanks to AD Heating Solutions, our Match Sponsors this evening. Find out more about them HERE

If you are interested in showcasing your business through our Match Sponsor package or other digital opportunities, please contact our Commercial Team by emailing for more information.

4,000 people will be at the game with every season ticket holder who applied for tickets able to attend.

Please note that no further tickets will be available and supporters without tickets should not attend.

A full guide to the rules in place for fans at the ground is available above- please read it and familiarise yourself with the new protocols.

We ask fans to arrive early, and to wear yellow - shirts, scarves, hats, coats; anything that paints the stadium yellow.

The game is available on SKY TV, which means it cannot be streamed live in iFollow in the UK, although we will have audio commentary.

Overseas fans need to check whether the game is being broadcast in their region. If so then the game can also not be streamed live in iFollow

We have all the build up on twitter and on our official Insta page. Join us on the official YouTube channel for 'Matchday Live', where we have big plans and a very special guest to welcome fans back, available to help you get in to matchday mode from 5.15pm

We will have a full report and Gallery right here on the final whistle and reaction from all the key men in iFollow.

Blackpool videos

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Match Reports

Blackpool Rock the U's

U's face three goal deficit in play offs

18 May 2021

Sponsored by

Oxford United face a massive task if they are to reach the League 1 play-off final for a second year in a row after losing the home leg 3-0 to Blackpool at the Kassam Stadium this evening.

Two goals in three minutes in the first half, the first from Oliver Turton and the second from Ellis Simms, ruined the party mood as 4,000 fans returned to support their side for the last home game of the season. A second from Simms after the break left a frustrated United needing to overcome a three goal deficit when the sides meet again on Friday evening at Bloomfield Road.

Four thousand people made the noise of 12,000, roaring their support all evening and turning the stadium yellow with shirts and flags as players and fans were finally reunited, but United were rocked by two goals halfway through the opening period as Blackpool underlined why they finished highest of the play-off teams.

A good block from Mark Sykes and a first save from Jack Stevens kept Blackpool at bay for a while but they were in front after a quarter of the game with a set-piece goal that the U's should in all honesty have cleared. An in-swinging free kick, a dangling leg rather than a thumping clearance and a simple close range finish from Turton into an unguarded net.

180521 blackpool (27).jpg

It got worse very quickly as Simms doubled the lead with a much better goal, cutting in from the right and smashing the ball past the horribly exposed Stevens to give the visitors a priceless two-goal cushion before we had even reached the half-hour mark.

180521 blackpool (26).jpg

United haven’t panicked all season and gradually edged their way back into the game, Brandon Barker and Sykes ever willing to run at a visiting back line that could now sit in their lines, take the sting out of the game and look to play on the counter.

Matty Taylor had a shot blocked after Barker and Elliot Lee had created a half chance shortly before the break, but United hadn’t tested keeper Chris Maxwell and had plenty left to do at after a frustrating 45 minutes.

The U's were almost back in it soon after the break as Sykes burst clear but found Maxwell up to the task, clawing the ball away as the midfielder bore down on his goal at pace. Had that gone in then the story might have been very different.

The Seasiders doubled up on the elusive Barker, worked their tangerine-tinted socks off to deny United space and invited the home side to break them down. Barker burst past two men and set up James Henry for a difficult chance that flew into the fans behind the goal and the crowd began to play their part - noise coming from all three sides of the ground and the players visibly lifted by the encouragement.

Those fans deserved a goal but the more United pressed the more dangerous a game they played. On 73 minutes they were 3-0 down as Blackpool robbed sub Dan Agyei in their own box, charged the length of the pitch and Simms coolly strode through and slipped the ball past the stranded Stevens to turn it in to a tangerine dream for the away side.


So much expectation, so much hope and now just 90 minutes to try and achieve something quite remarkable.

In a rollercoaster season United now face the Big One...

Att: 3,224
Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels/Rex Shutterstock, stats by OPTA


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Ticket News

Blackpool Ticket Details

Season Ticket holder ballot for play-off first leg tickets

12 May 2021

Following extensive discussions with local and national authorities, Oxford United are delighted to confirm approval has been granted for supporters to attend the club’s Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final first leg against Blackpool at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday 18th May, 6pm.

Since the U’s secured their top six berth on Sunday the club have been co-ordinating plans to maximise the available capacity while ensuring the top priority of Covid compliance is maintained. We would like to thank supporters for their patience while these plans were formalised, and we cannot wait to welcome you back to the Kassam Stadium for the first time this calendar year.

The club can confirm that a maximum capacity of 4,000 will be in attendance for the tie, with exclusive access to tickets given to current 2020/21 Season Ticket holders in the form of a one-off unweighted ballot.

The above maximum capacity must include all people in attendance, so as well as supporters, the club must factor players, staff, Directors, corporate, media, and policing & stewarding personnel into this figure. No away fans will be allowed to attend either of the semi-final matches.

With all this in mind, it is expected that Season Ticket holder demand will outweigh supply, hence the requirement for a ballot.

Season Ticket Ballot
The ballot is now open for Season Ticket holders to enter and is hosted at

The ballot will remain open until 9am on Friday 14th May, at which point the club will begin the process of randomly allocating seats to supporters. Season Ticket holders in the 1893 Club will be required to enter the ballot.

It is important to note that supporters will not be seated in their usual Season Ticket seat, however best efforts will be made to allocate places as close as possible.

How do I enter the ballot?

OUFC Ballot How To Guide.pdf

Entry into the ballot is exclusively made at To enter you will need to have created a brand new Single Sign-On Yellows Account and have linked your existing Season Ticket Fan Number. Further details of how you can do this can be found below.

Upon signing in, you can select to enter the ballot for the Oxford United v Blackpool fixture by clicking the graphic on the homepage.

You will be able to add up to six supporters in to your ballot application including the lead applicant. Applications above six will be automatically unsuccessful. A group application will be treated as a single entry, with all group members either being successful or unsuccessful.

Groups can be made up of up to six households and will not be split.

At the point of entering the ballot, the lead booker will be asked to enter their card details. Please note that no payment will be taken from your account unless you have successfully been allocated tickets.

Wheelchair users will be automatically enrolled in a separate ballot (alongside their PA where applicable). Please do not enter the general admission ballot if you are a wheelchair user.

How do I set up a Yellows Account?
To be able to enter the ballot and make ticketing purchases online moving forward, you will need to have a Yellows Account setup. To do this, please follow the steps in the following video, and you can create your account via the link just below.

Yellows Account How to Guide video

To setup your new Yellows Account, please CLICK HERE

If you are having trouble setting up your Yellows Account, please email

When will I know if I'm successful or unsuccessful in the ballot?
If you are successful in the ballot, you will receive a booking confirmation email that will detail the stand, row, and seat, along with a PDF of your match ticket(s).
No physical match tickets will be made available on the day, and entry will be solely by digital ticket or tickets printed at home.

Ticket prices in the different areas of the ground can be found by CLICKING HERE

Ticket prices automatically appear as the adult price when processing the application. The correct concessionary price will be applied and charged if you are successful in the ballot.

Code of Conduct & Match Experience
All fans who attend are expected to agree to and abide by a Fans Code of Conduct. This is in place to protect all those who wish to attend. While we respect fans will have their own threshold and particular views on certain aspects, we ask the OUFC family to consider their fellow fans in committing to this agreement between club and fans and, most importantly, between each other.

To view our Code of Conduct, please click here:

Playoff Stage 5 Code of Conduct (1).pdf

Thank You
We would once again like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their continued patience and co-operation throughout this season and all NHS staff, key workers, and those involved in the roll-out of the national vaccination programme for getting us to this stage.

We hope this match will be another significant step on the road back to full stadiums next season, and we look forward to welcoming you all back home soon – football has not been the same without you. We have missed you and can't wait to have you all back.


Will I be eligible for the ballot?
The ballot is only available for 2020/21 Season Ticket holders.

Will there be refreshments available at the Kassam Stadium for this fixture?
Two catering facilities will be open outside the Kassam Stadium, however no kiosks or vending machines will be operational inside the ground. Supporters may be admitted with their own refreshments; however, these are still subject to regular stadium regulations. (i.e. no alcohol to be consumed within view of the pitch).

Will I be able to sit in my usual seat?
No. To allow as many people into the stadium as possible and maintain social distancing, only certain seats will be available. Please use the seat you are allocated.

Will the Club Shop be open?
The Club Shop will be open until 6pm with capacity restrictions in place. If you’re able to make your purchase before arrival please do so at

Will match programmes be made available for this fixture?
Yes, there will be match programmes available to purchase in person and online.

Will car parking be available for this fixture?
Yes, usual car parking protocols will be in place with parking available around the Kassam Stadium complex

Will the game be available in iFollow?
The game will be shown exclusively live on SKY Sports in the UK. As this is not a regular season game iFollow will only have audio commentary, not a live stream of the game within the UK. Overseas viewers will need to check if the game is being televised live in their region. If so then the same conditions will apply as in the UK.


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