United go through in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Oxford United made it five wins over Swindon in a row as they stormed to a well-deserved 2-0 win over their oldest rivals in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy 2nd round tonight. Kemar Roofe was the hero with two goals but the entire team played their part in a great night's entertainment for the bulk of the 9,000 people there to see it.
There were enforced changes for the U's, with Danny Hylton suspended and both Danny Rose and Sam Slocombe injured. In came Ryan Taylor up front, Jordan Graham for a full debut on the right wing and Benji Buchel for a first game in goal.
With a magnificent atmosphere it was a proper cup tie from the very start and the first ten minutes flashed past as the game flowed from end to end. Local lad Callum O'Dowda almost opened the scoring on ten minutes with a powerful shot from the edge of the box that struck the bar with keeper Lawrence Vigouroux reaching for change, but the visitors were the first side this season to see more of the ball than the U's in the first half hour.
However, the key thing is these derbies is often discipline and after half an hour the Robins were a man light when Jordan Turnbull let the occasion get to him. There was no danger, the ball was dead, but Turnbull took a sly kick at Jake Wright and ref Gavin Ward had no hesitation in showing him a straight red card.
Swindon regrouped and dropped men behind the ball, looking to hit on the break as the Yellows began to keep the ball and probe for openings. That's a dangerous game against this Oxford side, and Roofe in particular. Good approach play, a storming run from Taylor and the ball broke perfectly for Roofe who swivelled to plant the ball home and give his side a 41st-minute lead. Chaos in the stands as the United faithful saluted their latest hero.
There was still time for the magnificent Sercombe, Roofe and the excellent George Baldock to force saves from Vigouroux before the interval as United lay siege to the Swindon goal. The half then ended with a Graham shot from 20 yards that was goalbound until the fingertips of Vigouroux took it on to the right-hand post. A great great save that kept his side in the match at the break.
The action was one way in the second half with the Robins only able to break out on rare occasions and giving Buchel the easiest clean sheet he will ever earn. At the other end it was the right flank asking all the questions with Graham and Baldock running the show and causing mayhem.
No surprise then when the second goal came from yet another cross from the right. This time it was struck with pace towards the near post where Taylor is at his best. He got across his defender and headed on, Roofe arrived behind him, 2-0, game over and the roof was off.
The crowd rose as one to applaud a superb team performance from the U's who rightly showed the visitors no mercy. Swindon were further weakened by Bradley Barry's unfortunate injury which saw him leave on a stretcher after a long delay but their fifth defeat in six games was sealed long before that moment. It could have been more had O'Dowda's shot been a yard wide of the keeper or Hoban's powerful effort not ballooned over the top from a blocking defender. Hoban also cheekily chipped the keeper in injury time but saw the ball land on the roof of the net. No matter.
United are on a roll, not just against Swindon but also this season. A bumper cup crowd came to savour every moment and will hopefully come back for plenty more as the season develops. In a derby like this it's easy to forget that this was the destruction of a team from a higher division, and it moves United into the area quarter-finals of a competition that has a Wembley final. Yes, you're right: too far ahead. Let's stick to the here and now. Oxford 2 Swindon 0. End of story.
Fifty 50 winning number 408181 wins £1,133
Report by Chris Williams, Pictures by Steve Daniels
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