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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

01 January 2022 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 Cheltenham Town

U's kick off 2022 at home to the Robins

31 December 2021

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Oxford United kick off the new year with a home game against Cheltenham Town in Sky Bet League 1 at the Kassam Stadium on New Year's Day (3pm)

The U's were superb at home throughout 2021 and Wednesday night's win over AFC Wimbledon moved them up to fifth in the table.

Herbie Kane will remain with the club until the end of the season and boss Karl Robinson is unlikely to break up the midfield trio of Kane, Cameron Brannagan and Mark Sykes, who scored his seventh goal of the season on Wednesday.

With a settled defence in front of Simon Eastwood keeping another clean sheet the fit again Jack Stevens will remain on the bench but as Karl Robinson told iFollow yesterday there is serious competition from that bench:

"Jack came back on Wednesday but the hardest choice was at right back. Anthony Forde has been superb and never ever lets us down but Sam Long had a terrific game and that is because of Fordy: they push each other for that place and we have that everywhere. Luke McNally did nothing wrong and pushes Elliott Moore and Jordan Thorniley, and we have competition in every position.

"Obviously we know where we need to strengthen as well and there will be new faces this window, but it is already a very strong group."

James Henry is missing with a calf injury while Dan Agyei was ruled out for covid reasons on Wednesday.

See Karl, Ryan Williams, Elliott Moore and Herbie Kane previewing the game in iFollow.

Cheltenham postponed their trip to MK Dons on Wednesday due to a number of players being absent through covid or injury but the situation looks to have improved and there are several former United players in the Cheltenham ranks.

Charlie Raglan, Liam Sercombe, Dan Crowley and Kyle Vassell will all be hoping to impress against their former club and help the Robins continue an impressive first season at this level after promotion last season.

The Ticket Office is now closed for NYE but tickets will be available on the day and are available online 24/7 from where you can print at home or download to your phone.
If you are attending then please read the Fan Protocols above.
There are around 2,000 free parking spaces at the stadium but we ask everyone to arrive early and park legally. Away fans - Please park in the West car park - the one closest to the cinema and bowling complex at the fence end of the ground.
Click here for a full away fan guide: 2021 away guide.pdf
Issue 2 of the OX, our new magazine for this season, is available in the Club Shop tomorrow, priced £5 and featuring news, interviews and views as well as some wonderful features. Pick up a copy.
The Football Special bus services, including the Didcot/Abingdon service, are running as normal and offer easy and affordable transport to home games. CLICK HERE for a full guide to public transport to the game.
Click here for a full guide to bringing your family to the Kassam Stadium: 2021 family guide.pdf
Please join us in a moment's applause before kick off as we remember the Oxford United fans, staff and players who have sadly passed away during 2021.
You can hear the whole game in iFollow in the UK and see it overseas, with interviews with all the key men after the game.
You can also follow the whole game on twitter through @OUFCOfficial or on our Instagram page and we will have a full match report and Gallery right here on the final whistle.

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 1 Cheltenham Town 1

Sykes goal sees the U's start 2022 with a draw. Full time report

1 January 2022

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Oxford United started 2022 with a hard-fought point as Mark Sykes' late goal earned them a 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon.

United never truly recaptured their superb display against AFC Wimbledon in midweek but never gave up and in the end Sykes slid home his fourth goal in five games to ensure they at least came away with something from a very tough game after Callum Wright had given Cheltenham the lead early in the second half.

It took a good save from Simon Eastwood in the opening minutes to keep it at 0-0 as Lewis Freestone got the first shot of the day on target before United began to settle and Marcus McGuane, the one change to the team from Wednesday, and Cameron Brannagan both went close from distance

They then had the perfect chance to go ahead when a sublime pass from McGuane slipped Taylor in on goal and led to a penalty as keeper Owen Evans rushed out and tripped him. Sadly Taylor couldn’t beat the keeper from the spot, his kick cannoning to safety off Evans’ legs as Taylor placed his kick too close to the centre of the goal.

010122 cheltenham (1).jpg

Sykes looked their likeliest source of a goal and lifted an effort over the top on 35 minutes and flashed another rising drive over the top on 45, but although the second quarter of the game had been played increasingly in the Robins’ half, the U’s had found Cheltenham tough to break down.

They then almost fell for the sucker punch three minutes into the second half when Liam Sercombe did what he does best, arriving on the edge of the box and forcing the pace. This time it led to a corner which was flicked on at the near post and Leicester loanee Wright couldn't miss, knocking the ball into the empty net from a yard out.


Now United needed to take a deep breath and find their rhythm. Sam Long did get the ball into the net but Taylor was offside in front of the keeper. Gavin Whyte added pace and urgency down the right and Sam Winnall joined Taylor up front to try and find a way past a back three where another former U's player, Charlie Raglan, epitomised the visitors' determination.

Brannagan did all he could but there was always a diving defender in the way until the pressure finally told and Sykes gleefully tapped home from similar, unattended, range to the opening goal.


United threw everything they had at the visitors to try and find a winner but there was to be no late drama this time.

A slow start shouldn't disguise a dominant second-half performance but the bottom line is, you cannot play the beautiful game every time you step on to the pitch. Sometimes you need to work your socks off, keep believing, and if that turns into just one point then so be it.

On to the next game. See you at Lincoln.

Att: 8,251

Away: 508

Fifty/50 winning number 14503 wins £685

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

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Ticket News

Covid Protocols v Cheltenham

Stay safe as the U's take on the Robins

31 December 2021

In line with EFL COVID-19 guidelines there will be a number of measures in place at the Kassam Stadium on New Year's Day when we welcome Cheltenham Town.

Spectator safety is paramount. To protect you and others, please take a moment to read the below points to help ensure the stadium continues to be a safe place to visit.


  • We would like to strongly recommend everyone attending takes a Lateral Flow Test before attending the match.

  • Please do not attend the match if you display any Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive for Covid 19. Please follow the government guidance on their website regarding testing and isolation: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (

Face Coverings:

  • Face coverings are compulsory when inside the stadium with the exception of when eating or drinking or when seated in the stadium bowl.

Whilst in the Stadium:

  • Catering facilities will be open and matchday programmes will be available in concourses.
  • Please sanitise your hands before entering the ground using the facilities provided at the turnstiles.
  • Please use your judgement for toilet visits avoid congestion and queues (e.g. half time).
  • Please keep to the left when travelling through vomitories and using staircases.

  • While not mandatory, some attendees may feel more comfortable wearing a face covering during their entire visit. Please be respectful of other spectators’ choices.

  • In the event that you or a family member becomes unwell with Covid-19 symptoms while at the stadium, please notify the nearest member of staff immediately. You will be taken to a designated isolation room where a fully trained doctor and medical team will assist you.

  • Please do not approach any of the players or coaching staff as they are currently not permitted to sign autographs or pose for photographs. This could impact their ability to play if they contract Covid-19.

  • Please continue to be respectful to other spectators and staff.

And finally…

Thank you all once again for your continued support and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

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