Oxford United were beaten 2-1 by Coventry City this afternoon in front of the SKY cameras. An own goal from John Mousinho and a Conor Chaplin penalty earned the Sky Blues all three points despite a late goal from Jon Oika to set up a grandstand finish.
Unchanged from the team that drew at Sunderland, United were also unchanged in the attacking manner they opened the game; James Henry dinking an early effort against the bar after Cameron Norman had made one of his trademark storming runs forward from right-back.
That early impetus faded in the early autumn sun though. Coventry were neat on the ball and quick on the break and United were indebted to skipper Curtis Nelson after 21 minutes when he made one great block from Conor Chaplin then another to block the follow up. Keeper Jonathan Mitchell made a good save when Luke Thomas got in behind the defence on 34 but otherwise there were few chances in the first half after Henry’s early effort
The exemplary John Mousinho almost found the breakthrough nine minutes after the break when he scuffed an extremely difficult chance inches wide of the post after his defensive partner Curtis Nelson had narrowly missed heading home a Browne corner, although Chaplin came close at the other end when bringing down a tricky pass but unable to beat the fast-closing Mitchell.
Possession-wise to was fairly even but on 64 it was the Sky Blues who found the breakthrough, even if there was an enormous slice of luck. Jordan Shipley started the move, tucking a pass through for Chaplin who rolled it back in to his path inside the box. Shipley's effort was heading for the SKY TV gantry behind the goal but the hapless Mousinho in trying to block it was only able to divert its path beyond Mitchell. Credited widely as an own goal, technically that is correct because the shot was off target but it is extremely harsh on the defender in this case.
United were brave and threw on Obika to try and find an equaliser but instead it was Mark Robins' side who found the net. Tom Bayliss's through ball set Shipley on a collision course with Mitchell. The striker nicked the ball past the keeper who bundled him over and Chaplin beat Mitchell from the spot to make it 2-0.
United threw caution to the wind and at last regained their early tempo. With five minutes to go they were back in the game when sub Luke Garbutt's excellent corner was powered home by Obika from close range to make it 1-2 and that meant a late siege for Coventry to withstand.
Crosses flashed across the box from both flanks but a couple of good claims by keeper Burge and some resolute defending by the men in front of him kept the U's out and led to another furstrating scoreline as their four game unbeaten run ended.
Report by Chris Williams, pictures by Steve Daniels, stats by OPTA
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