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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Shrewsbury Town 1

U's tamed by the Shrews. Full time report

4 February 2023

Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 Shrewsbury Town 1

U's tamed by the Shrews. Full time report

4 February 2023

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A contrast in form was cruelly underlined at the Kassam Stadium today when Oxford United were beaten for the fourth time in a row while visitors Shrewsbury made it five consecutive wins to continue their climb in League 1.

A second half goal from sub Ryan Bowman was enough to give the Shrews all three points despite the U's dominating much of the 90 minutes.

Two early efforts from Billy Bodin and a well-struck free kick from left-back Brandon Fleming got United off to a good start as they dominated the first half. There were loud shouts for a penalty for handball when Marcus McGuane’s drive after 16 minutes was pushed away by keeper Mark Marosi and Ciaron Brown’s goalbound effort was blocked by Flanagan as he leaned into the ball, but that appeal was swiftly waved away by ref Scott Oldham.

At the other end Flanagan let fly from distance in the opening minutes but otherwise the Shrews were very much on the back foot throughout the first 45 and had another let off after 22 minutes when Bodin freed Kyle Joseph only for his low strike to hit the right-hand post.

040223 shrewsbury 1st (10).jpg

And yet, when your luck's out things go against you. First Bodin, having looked the most likely source of a goal, limped off before half time with a hamstring problem.

Replacement Tyler Smith kept the momentum going with an early strike after the break that Marosi clung on to, bettering that by tipping a McGuane drive over the bar a minute later, and at the hour mark the stats showed 61 per cent possession for the home side and 12 shots at goal to Shrewsbury's two.

And yet, of course, there is one stat that matters more than any other.


There was a warning on 70 minutes when Tom Bloxham let fly and Eastwood clawed the ball onto the post, but still United looked the more likely team to score, Marosi getting down smartly to smother another effort from Joseph.

And then everything went wrong.

Shrewsbury battled to win the ball back on the edge of United's box, a clever scooped ball over the back line from Killian Phillips left Bowman in behind the backline and his touch took the ball beyond the fingertips of the despairing Eastwood.

United threw men forward and did all they could to retrieve the situation, but Bowman's goal had burst their bubble and an improved performance brought zero reward.

Cruel, but not turning possession into goals has become a theme this season. Time to put that right at MK next Saturday.

Att: 7,597

Away: 550

Polythene UK Fifty/50 winning number 67154 wins £859

Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels, Steve Edmunds and Darrell Fisher, stats by OPTA

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