Home / Football / Roofe brace against higher opposition edges U’s closer to Wembley

Roofe brace against higher opposition edges U’s closer to Wembley

Oxford United are potentially just 90 minutes away from a trip to Wembley after a second Kemar Roofe brace in under a week saw another impressive win over higher league opposition as the U’s beat Millwall in the Johnstones Paint Trophy area final at The Den.
Manager Michael Appleton made three changes from the side that knocked Premier League side Swansea out of the FA Cup on Sunday, with goalkeeper Benji Büchel replacing Sam Slocombe, and full back Jordan Evans and forward Patrick Hoban also coming into the side.
And it was Büchel that was involved early doors as the goalkeeper made a smart save to deny former Portsmouth playmaker Jed Wallace an opening goal.
Despite a shaky start, the U’s regrouped and quickly found their stride and weren’t intimidated by their higher-league opponents.
As the U’s pressed, they took the lead in a fortuitous manor after home goalkeeper David Forde gifted United the opener. Roofe, who was playing on the left, crossed into the box, and the Irish international keeper fumbled the ball into his own net to give the League Two side the advantage.
After taking the lead, the U’s began to control the game, and their clever passing style of play became too much for the Lions who struggled for possession.
Roofe could have netted his second midway through the first half, but he failed to gather man of the match John Lundstram’s terrific through ball. That said, the pair were involved as half time approached in the U’s second goal. Lundstram, from distance, curled a beautiful dipping shot which beat Forde, but was denied by the bar. However, the in-form Roofe was quick to react as he tucked home his second of the evening to give the visitors a healthy advantage heading into the break infront of an impressive 1,300 travelling Oxford supporters.
After a half time grilling from manager Neil Harris, Millwall came out looking to reduce the deficit, but after Hoban narrowly saw his effort sail wide, it could have been a lot worse for the hosts.
The Lions looked to threaten the Oxford goal, but saves from Büchel against Wallace again and striker Steve Morison kept the clean sheet in tact.
But Roofe’s second brace against higher league opposition in under a week where enough to put the U’s in the driving seat ahead of their second leg at the Kassam Stadium earlier next month. For now however the focus returns to League Two as the U’s look to keep their promotion push alive with a home game against Bristol Rovers.
john lumdstram Johnstone Paint Trophy Kemar Roofe Michael Appleton Millwall

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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