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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 2 Northampton Town 2

Last gasp goal sees United pegged back by the Cobblers. Full time report

20 February 2024

Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 2 Northampton Town 2

Last gasp goal sees United pegged back by the Cobblers. Full time report

20 February 2024

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Oxford United edged further into the play-off picture tonight with a 2-2 draw with  Northampton Town at the Kassam Stadium.

Will Goodwin's header with nine minutes to go looked to have given United a win, but sub Tony Springett sprung up to level in injury time, extending United's unbeaten run to six games but meaning five draws within those six matches.

Leading through an early strike from Josh Murphy, United were pegged back before the break when Will Hondermarck headed home an equaliser, but for the second home game in a row United grew stronger as the game went on and will feel aggrieved that Goodwin's goal wasn't the winner.

There were two changes of personnel, Joe Bennett and Billy Bodin stepping up, but more significantly a change of shape and intent, as Bodin and Ruben Rodrigues joined Cameron Brannagan in an adventurous midfield trio behind Murphy, Mark Harris and Greg Leigh, playing on the left wing in front of Bennett.

It paid immediate dividends when Murphy, in acres of space on the right, rifled the U’s into a lead inside six minutes, thrashing the ball past keeper Louis Moulden for an expertly taken opener after Bodin had pushed the ball into his path.

northampton murphy goal 1 (6).jpg

Northampton, perhaps surprised by United’s set-up, took time to adjust and United enjoyed the lion’s share of the ball in the first half hour without further testing Moulden, so it was a surprise to most people when the Cobblers drew level ten minutes before the break.

Bodin gave the ball away to Marc Leonard who sent Kieron Bowie away on the right. Bowie turned to the left, turned to the right then fashioned a pass for Leonard, whose cross picked out Hondermarck for a simple downwards header to level at 1-1.

A typical Brannagan blast from the edge of the box was pushed away by Moulden before the break, and the second  half began with a similar pattern of United zipping the ball around in front or a resolute Cobblers backline. A triple substitution with 20 minutes to go then looked to have turned the game.

Dale started to drive at his full back, Goodwin added an aerial danger, and when Dale crossed from the right, Goodwin threw himself in front of his man to power home a fine header to open his account.


Northampton had rarely looked like recovering their position but then deep into time added on, Sam Hoskins helped the ball on and Springett put the boot in by firing past the helpless Jamie Cumming.

Six unbeaten, up a place in the table, players gaining confidence along with match sharpness, and yet a frustrating sense of 'what might have been'.

Att: 8,732


Polythene UK Fifty/50 winning number 122097 wins £837

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

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