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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 MK Dons 1

Oxford lose to the Dons. Full time report

19 September 2023

Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 0 MK Dons 1

Oxford lose to the Dons. Full time report

19 September 2023

Oxford United were beaten by a Jack Payne penalty this evening as MK Dons made it two wins from two games in the EFL Trophy.

Having won their opening group game at Northampton, United battled hard but couldn't quite recapture their league form, with Oxford old boy Payne's penalty enough to all but guarantee the visitors' progress.

Sticking with Trophy tradition, both sides made changes from their league side at the weekend, United bringing Greg Leigh and Mark Harris back into the fold after suspension and handing Leeds loanee Sonny Perkins a full debut.

The changes took time to gel in a scrappy first 20 minutes, but after that United started to find some of their usual rhythm and the game began to open up. Tyler Goodhram was denied by a block by Brooklyn Ilunga as he looked to finish a neat move with a near-post effort and Simon Eastwood made a good save from Max Dean at the other end as chances started to arrive.

mk 1st (7).jpg

The closest we came to a first-half goal came in the last minute with another swift exchange of chances. Oxford’s effort was a fine free kick from the hard-working Oisin Smyth that flew to safety via the crossbar, before Ilunga’s effort at the other end was diverted miraculously round the post by Stephan Negru, sliding to the rescue on his own goal line.

Negru repeated that early in the second half to block another goalbound effort from Joe Tomlinson, but on 55 minutes former U’s man Payne was brought down by Josh McEachran and picked himself up to thump the penalty past Eastwood to give his side a 1-0 win.

MK penalty.jpg

United instantly responded with a triple substitution, Josh Murphy quickly into the action with a run into the area and the excellent Josh Johnson making his first appearance after an injury-affected start to the season, while Ciaron Brown slotted in at centre-half.

Murphy powered a shot just wide on 65 minutes and then produced the moment of the match with an audacious nutmeg to send Fin Stevens in on goal, only for the full back to be denied by keeper Michael Kelly. The Yellows kept going and chased the game but there was to be no late drama this time, with Perkins missing the target by perhaps two inches with an injury-time effort that fooled just about the entire crowd into thinking they had seen a goal!

A defeat then, but United remain in with a chance of progressing when they welcome Chelsea U21 in the final group game.

Plus in the much bigger picture, they'd had a far bigger result earlier in the day...

Att: 1,588
Away: 143

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

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