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Match Reports

REPORT Portsmouth 1 Oxford United 1

Ten man U's draw at Pompey. Full time report

25 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT Portsmouth 1 Oxford United 1

Ten man U's draw at Pompey. Full time report

25 October 2022

Oxford United were reduced to ten men for the second time in a row but held out for a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth tonight in a 'game of two halves'.

United started strongly and were a goal up at the break through a superb Kyle Joseph effort. However, a red card for Billy Bodin meant a ten-man defence of that lead and a controversial Colby Bishop equaliser meant the sides shared the points.

With youngster Gatlin O’Donkor full of running as a replacement for the suspended Matty Taylor, United were deservedly ahead at the interval through Joseph’s sixth goal of the season. Sam Long played it forward, O’Donkor chested it down and Joseph powered it into the top left corner from 20 yards out.

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A terrific goal and no more than the U’s had deserved for a positive first half. Cameron Brannagan and Bodin both fired off target efforts at goal, while at the other end Elliott Moore and Stuart Findlay stood up well to a barrage of high balls into the box that rarely troubled former Pompey keeper Simon Eastwood .

Joseph grazed the left post with another fine effort on 32 minutes, and United had been in control with only a tame Ronan Curtis effort to worry Eastwood in the first 45 minutes.

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Nicky and Danny Cowley rode their luck at times and will have been hoping for a Littlemore from their side after the break Iffley could. United prepared for an onslaught, knowing that Pompey would play up.

However, they continued to press the opposition and work ferociously hard and the expected siege failed to materialise until the red card changed the flow of the game.

Brannagan forced a corner after a delightful passing move soon after the break, even if Portsmouth almost scored from that corner - a superb counter attack denied by a save from Eastwood and a terrific block from the always excellent Ciaron Brown.

Otherwise, from open play United were stubborn and resilient but their cause was far from helped on 72 minutes when, with tackles starting to pile up, Bodin slid into a tackle from behind and was sent off for his second yellow of the evening.

For the second game in a row United were asked to raise their game when a man light. How do you raise the workrate when you are already flat out?

Djavan Anderson added fresh legs and energy but once again a big decision was to go against Karl Robinson's men. Dropping deeper by the minute, United were adamant that a scooped ball into the box was controlled by Bishop's arm. Ref Sam Purkiss and his assistant believed otherwise and the striker turned to steer the ball beyond the sprawling Eastwood to level at 1-1.

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Now the siege truly began and United were confined to the perimeter of their own penalty area. Captain Elliott Moore made a magnificent block to keep a Josh Koroma shot out and hacked clearances came straight back at the defence as Portsmouth pressed.

Eight minutes of added time were herocially navigated without a genuine goal threat and the U's will be the happier side to end up with the traditional 1-1 draw when the sides meet.

A point on the road, earned the hard way. A small step, but still a step in the right direction

Att: 18,277
Away: 784

Report by Chris Williams, pictures by Steve Edmunds and Rex Shutterstock


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