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Match Reports

REPORT Rampant U's Romp Past The Robins

Oxford United 4 Cheltenham Town 0. Full time report

25 April 2023

Match Reports

REPORT Rampant U's Romp Past The Robins

Oxford United 4 Cheltenham Town 0. Full time report

25 April 2023

The real Oxford United stood up when it most mattered this evening, thumping four goals past Cheltenham Town to secure a vital first win in 18 attempts.

A Tyler Goodrham goal before the break set them on their way before a Kyle Joseph strike and two from Marcus Browne secured all three points and moved them away from danger at the wrong end of the table.

It took a while before they clicked into gear, but a roaring crowd lifted them and helped them produce their best performance of the season.

Cheltenham keeper Luke Southwood, at the west end of the ground, was always more involved in the first half hour than Simon Eastwood at the east, but the U’s had to be patient until they found their bearings.

Billy Bodin, back in the team in the number 10 role behind Kyle Joseph, had an early shot blocked, and the effervescent Goodrham fizzed a fine effort inches wide before we had reached the fifth minute, but it wasn't until the 38th minute that the breakthrough came.

There was some good refereeing in the build up when Goodrham was baulked and ref Will Finnie waved play on. The offside Joseph left it for the onside Long who carried on down the right flank. When he crossed, Goodrham had regained his footing and joyfully steered home at the near post for the most important goal of his young career. There will be plenty more.


That was almost his final action of the night before injury ended his evening early, but his replacement Josh Murphy proved an inspired choice as Liam Manning's side took total control of the second half.

The Robins, already safe, never truly tested Eastwood or created too many problems for the rock-solid defence, fully deserving of their clean sheet, and on 52 it was 2-0 and relief flooded across OX4 when Joseph netted against his former club.

The on-loan Swansea forward was the first to point to the creator, Murphy, who chased the ball down, moved into space and then squared the ball for Joseph who stayed calm and rolled the ball home to open up that vital cushion that United have been missing; they hadn't scored two in a game since Derby at home at the start of March.

Now, for the first time in far too long, United were rampant. Bodin whose subtle touches and clever movement make such a difference, was a whisker away from a third, and then collective closing created chaos in the Cheltenham backline, Long nicking the ball, Murphy crossing with absolute precision, and Browne burying the header to score his first.


Five minutes later he capped it all with his second of the night when sheer power took him past a couple of flimsy challenges before he smashed the ball past Southwood, who didn't know where he was by that stage. Unplayable on the night, Browne went close to a hat-trick but United's work was done.


A fantastic evening and a triumph for belief and togetherness. A first win for their new Manager and a standing ovation for all concerned.


The job is not done yet. But at last there is genuine hope and the mission has become very clear. Two games left, win one of them and the U's should be safe.

Let's see if they can do it the simpler, less nerve-racking way and win the first of those games, away at Forest Green on Saturday....

Att: 7,757
Away: 426

Report by Chris Williams.Pictures Steve Edmunds, Steve Daniels and Darrell Fisher plus Rex Shutterstock

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