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Match Reports

REPORT Cheltenham Town 2 Oxford United 0

Ten man U's beaten at the Robins. Full time report

25 November 2023

Match Reports

REPORT Cheltenham Town 2 Oxford United 0

Ten man U's beaten at the Robins. Full time report

25 November 2023

Oxford United endured a completely-frustrating afternoon at the Completely-Suzuki stadium today as goals from Rob Street and Will Goodwin gave the home side all three points in a game that ended with both sides reduced to ten men.

Street's first-half strike and Goodwin's late second came either side of red cards for Street and Ruben Rodrigues in a full-blooded encounter that meant a first-game defeat for new boss Des Buckingham.

With a full quota for the first 44 minutes, Cheltenham came at Oxford from the off and it took an outstanding save from James Beadle in the first minute to keep them at bay, the on-loan Brighton keeper clawing away a clever chip from Aidan Keena that was heading for the top left corner.

That set the tone for much of the first half as a physical Cheltenham front line put United under pressure and got the ball into the box early whenever there was an opportunity. United, missing Sam Long and Greg Leigh through injury and Elliott Moore through suspension, defended stoutly and then seemed to be growing into the game.

Cameron Brannagan, skipper in Moore’s absence went close with a free kick, Jordan Thorniley had a drive blocked and Rodrigues was only denied after 33 minutes by a brave block by the covering Ben Williams.

However, two minutes later a set piece paved the way for the opener. An inswinging corner was punched clear by the brave Beadle among a sea of straining heads only for the ball to fly to Street who sent in a quality volley through a packed area to spark celebrations among the home fans.


There was still time for a twist in time added on when Street was far from wise with an elbow into the rugged jaw of Stephan Negru. An obvious red card and ref Scott Simpson duly obliged to leave United facing ten men for half the game.

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Josh Murphy injected pace for the second half as the U's went to a wing-back system and penned the ten men back in front of the magnificent away fans - one third of the crowd making two thirds of the noise at that stage - and for 20 minutes it became a question of whether the ten men could hold out as they dropped deeper and deeper.

Rodrigues, the game's central character, should have levelled on 50 but leant back and fired well over the gaping net after a Murphy run had left him with an open goal, Ciaron Brown's header was kicked off the line as the Robins rocked and the Northern Ireland international defender was close with a low drive on the hour as the U's dominated. Bodin flashed a rising effort a foot wide, and then everything changed again after 68 minutes when Rodrigues was dismissed for blocking his man near the half-way line.


Both of the Portuguese playmaker's yellow cards were avoidable but frustration was the key, and now it was ten v ten for 25 action-packed minutes.

With Kyle Edwards on the pitch by then, United had pace down both flanks and looked to stretch the game whenever they could, but the home side were disciplined and on 76 had little reason to make the game go end to end as an initial low shot was blocked but ran kindly to Goodwin, who rolled home a second goal that gave United just too much to do.

United slip a place in the table to third but have the ideal chance to bounce back when they welcome the new leaders, Bolton Wanderers, to the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.

Att: 5,049
Away: 1,517

Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels, Steve Edmunds, Darrell Fisher and Rex Shutterstock

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