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Five in a row as Oxford win in derby

Oxford's pre-match display was an impressive as the team's performance
Oxford’s pre-match display was an impressive as the team’s performance


It may have only been a second round tie in the Johnstones Paint Trophy, but Oxford have retained their bragging rights over rivals Swindon Town after the U’s defeated the Robins at the Kassam Stadium.

A brace from in-form striker Kemar Roofe earned Michael Appleton’s side a fifth successive victory over their rivals in front of a bumper crowd of just over 9,000.

Oxford United 2-0 Swindon Town –

The U’s record fifth straight victory over rivals 

The U’s had to make three enforced changes ahead of the game, with striker Danny Hylton ruled out through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season at Accrington, and midfielder Danny Rose and goalkeeper Sam Slocombe both injured.

Ryan Taylor replaced Hylton, with on loan Wolves winger Jordan Graham and goalkeeper Benji Büchel making their full debuts.

The game kicked off on time despite minor clashes between fans in Oxford city centre, and both sides began the game brightly as the atmosphere grew. Callum O’Dowda, playing in his first derby after delaying his trip with the Republic of Ireland under 21 side, came close inside ten minutes when his effort struck the bar.

With the struggling League One and in-form League Two sides seemingly even in the first half an hour, the turning point in the game became imminent. Robins man Jordan Turnbull took a sly kick at U’s skipper Jake Wright in an off the ball incident, and referee Gavin Ward had no option but to reduce the visitors to ten men.

With the home fans boyed on by the dismissal, the players began to open gaps and dominated the remainder of the half. And with under five first half minutes remaining, Kemar Roofe continued his impressive run infront of goal as the forward smashed the ball past Robins keeper Vigouroux after some good approach play from Taylor to give the U’s the lead heading into the break.

But the hosts could have furthered their advantage before the interval as Liam Sercombe, George Baldock and Roofe all forced saves from the Robins keeper, as did Graham who saw his 20 yard effort tipped wide.

Mark Cooper’s side returned for the second half but began the way they ended the first as Oxford dominated the early proceedings. Graham and Baldock were causing all sorts of problems for Swindon down the U’s right hand side, and it would soon lead to another Oxford goal.

Taylor flicked the header, delivered with pace from the right, and Roofe was there to tuck in his second of the evening to send the home fans into delirium.

On a night of woes for Swindon, it got worse when Bradley Barry’s injury saw him leave the field on a stretcher, before O’Dowda and substitute Patrick Hoban came close to netting a derby goal.

But it didn’t matter as the U’s recorded a comprehensive victory over their local rivals; their fifth in succession against the Robins. Worse still for Swindon, not only are they yet to win at the Kassam Stadium, but they’re yet to score as Oxford once again take the bragging rights after another impeccable performance.

The U’s are on devastating form at present, and will head into Saturday’s League Two encounter at home to AFC Wimbledon full of confidence, having lost just once all season.

Five in a row Kassam Stadium Kemar Roofe Michael Appleton Swindon Town U's

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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