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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

01 April 2024 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT | Oxford United 4 Fleetwood 0

United produce their biggest win of the league season in emphatic style

1 April 2024

Oxford United produced their biggest league win of the season to pick up a vital three points on Easter Monday with a 4-0 victory over Fleetwood Town.

Three of the U's goals came in a sensational opening 45 minutes through Cameron Brannagan, Mark Harris and Owen Dale, as Des Buckingham's side continue to keep their play-off push alive. 

Harris added a second for himself with seven minutes to play to put some gloss on the result that leaves United level on points with Lincoln City, who sit in sixth. 

Fleetwood arrived in 23rd place in Sky Bet League One, a position that goes against their recent form with only two defeats in their last nine.

It was the visitors who almost opened the scoring on 11 minutes when January signing Tom Lonergan had the chance to run through on goal, but his chipped finish over Jamie Cumming went just beyond the post.

They were made to pay three minutes later when Cameron Brannagan opened the scoring for the U’s. A smart counterattack ended with Owen Dale laying the ball to Brannagan on the edge of the box and his right-footed shot deflected beyond a hapless Fleetwood keeper.

fleetwood brannagan goal.jpg

The Oxford players and fans were enjoying the football on show and Josh Murphy whistled a shot just wide from a tight angle moments after the goal.

Brannagan almost snuck in his second with a left-footed shot from range on 19 minutes which was smartly saved by Jay Lynch, before Ruben Rodgriues saw a shot deflected just the wrong side of the post.

It wouldn’t matter as on the half-hour mark, Mark Harris doubled the Oxford lead as he grabbed his 14th of the season.

It was a wonderfully constructed goal which began with Brannagan winning the ball in the middle of the pitch before sending Murphy clear down the left. The March Player of the Month was inch-perfect with his low cross for the Welsh international to slide in and score.

fleetwood harris goal (1).jpg

Phoenix Patterson smashed the bar with a free-kick off the Oxford crossbar but it was all United going forward, with Rodrigues almost scoring a goal of the season contender. He nutmegged a defender outside the box and saw a curling shot tipped away from the top right corner. Sam Long then followed up on the rebound and his shot crashed wide.

The U’s would go into the break in dreamland as two minutes before half-time it was 3-0 through Dale. Fleetwood carelessly cleared the ball straight to Murphy 20 yards out who waited for Bennett’s overlapping run down the left, his shot was parried straight to the winger who tapped home from close range.

fleetwood dale goal (2).jpg

Straight after half-time and Murphy was inches away from making it 4-0 with a stunning shot from 25 yards which beat the goalkeeper and also the bottom left corner.

Seconds later, Carl Johnston got the Fleetwood fans off their feet as they thought his shot from 12 yards out had hit the back of the net, only to realise his effort whistled wide and hit the side of the goal.

Murphy was causing mayhem all afternoon and he seared past the Fleetwood team on 57 minutes to set up the perfect chance for himself but his shot was blocked from close range. Brannagan followed up and forced Lynch into a stop.

The chances continued to flow for both sides until full-time, but when called upon, the Oxford United defence and goalkeeper stood strong to ensure a vital clean sheet. 

Then, with seven minutes remaining Harris got the fourth and his second of the afternoon, when his shot just inside the box took a deflection and into the top left corner.

A brilliant Easter Monday for all at the Kassam, with Burton Albion away coming up on Saturday. 

Attendance: 8,631, including 146 away

Report: Ryan Maher

Photography: Steve Daniels, Steve Edmunds, Darrel Fisher, JasonPix

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