Nothing to see here…

Is there any need to read Anthony Gingell’s match report for Town’s JPT defeat up the A420..?

A rearranged line-up has a lively start at the three sided Kassam Stadium in the A420 derby. In a 4-3-3 formation, Mark Cooper has tried to ensure that Town will attack their opponents to try and turn around the recent poor form and give a lift to the fans.

Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill starts at left-back, moving James Brophy forward into left midfield. Drissa Traore and Anton Rodgers start in the centre of midfield as Yaser Kasim and Louis Thompson are on international duty. Henrik Ojamaa is dropped for recent poor form and replaced by Jermaine Hylton.

Early on, Lawrence Vigouroux saves after the Oxford number 16 (Graham) makes a mishit cross become a good effort as the ball dips towards the goal on just four minutes. Swindon’s goalie is alert and palms the ball over the bar. The resulting corner is headed away by Traore and Town break through Hylton. It breaks down to nothing.

James Brophy wins the ball off the Oxford player, passes the ball to Hylton who runs at the defence and spreads the ball beautifully to the right for Ajose. He wins a corner for Town on seven minutes. The header is wasted by not being on target; Oxford try to clear but Rodgers lifts it back in the danger zone but the referee blows for a shirt pull. Town looking better than their opponents but only just!

Brophy wins a free-kick on 11 minutes whilst running at the Oxford players. He knocks the ball on and gets a bump knocking him off his feet. The free-kick is wasted and the home team break but Bradley Barry tackles and clears. This is feeling like a proper derby where anything could happen and form goes out the window.

Just a couple of minutes later; the home side hit the bar. Poor Swindon passing led to the break that allowed the Oxford player to cut inside and lash the hopeful shot to hit the top of the bar with Vigouroux completely beaten.

Ajose gets the ball but it will not sit right for a clean shot 18 yards out and his shot is blocked by the hard-working home defender. On 17 minutes Traore is now in an attacking position but drags his shot 6-yards wide of the goal. Some better play by Swindon to get past Oxford.

Rossi Branco gives away a free-kick 50 yards from goal. The home side drive into the open space and past 90% of the Swindon players in the penalty box but an over hit touch allowed Vigouroux to collect. Town break quickly with Brophy knocking the ball down the line for BOO (Ormonde-Ottewill). BOO is wiped out but George Baldock, 5-yards from the corner flag to win another Town free-kick. Rodgers poor free-kick is cleared by the big centre back.

Town finally get the ball in the net on 22 minutes but it’s ruled out as Jonathan Obika is offside. A lovely one-two with Brophy and Traore allows the former to put Obika through on goal and with a couple of touches the striker puts the ball in the back on the net underneath the home ‘keeper but to no benefit of the pressing away team.

Town have a corner just after the half hour mark with Obika winning this cleverly. He had nowhere to go so played the cross off the defender. BOO takes the corner; it’s high with a little bit of pace. Branco heads the ball and going for a goal-kick. Turnbull tries to keep the ball alive in the box but George Baldock falls to the floor and puts his arms in the air. Turnbull seemed to be shaking a leg but is given a straight red. What on earth?? (Replay looks VERY soft but he may have kicked out therefore correct).

Just a couple of minutes later the Oxford player clears the ground with a 20 yard shot – not too difficult in the three sided ground. The ball boy outside must have thought he’d have been busier tonight.

Oxford’s number 4, danger man Roofe, scores on 42 minutes. The tall, ginger forward, Taylor, takes the ball from 18 yards and bundles though two or three powder puff challenges in the box and the ball rolls to Roofe who slots in from a couple of yards past the diving Vigouroux. Ojamaa is substituted for Jermaine Hylton by Mark Cooper.

The number 8 of the home team takes the ball from their own half, after Bradley Barry loses the ball by being fouled, but the referee thinks this is a slip and plays on. The midfielder is one on one with Vigouroux but the away goalie saves well.

Roofe was then slotted into a goal scoring opportunity on 44 minutes but again Vigouroux saved at his feet. The Swindon goalkeeper is now being peppered with shots as he then saves Baldock’s goal bound shot. Just seconds later, he saves a 25 yard screamer by putting this onto the post. What an amazing save from the Liverpool loanee who has kept us in the game with a 1-0 half time score line?

Town are slow at breaking which allows the home side to defend. The away team now seem to be playing a 4-2-2-1 formation with BOO playing right-back; Barry in at centre back alongside Branco and Brophy on left back. A defence of B’s (we certainly need some A* performances now though).

Traore and Rodgers sit in front of the defence with Obika and Ojamaa out wide and Ajose through the middle. It doesn’t help. On 53 minutes it’s a header that Vigouroux gets to but can’t stop squirming through his legs. The power of Roofe’s header means it crosses the line for a goal. 2-0 to the home side!! This could be a rugby score the way we’re going!

Shots are being taken for fun by the League 2 side although the 6-yard wide volley was amusing it just showed we were not controlling the game (expected with a man less). Ojamaa is showing that he is useless – a little like my writing and reporting!! Branco runs well from well within his own half; chips the ball to the middle about 25 yards from goal. Obika wins the aerial battle and plays it to Ojamaa. A one-two with Ajose puts Henrik in but he takes a touch and when getting ready to fire he gets his footing messed up and kicks the ball out for a goal kick. A proper ‘showboat’ gone wrong!!

Bradley Barry is then on the floor unconscious and this looks serious. 7 to 8 minutes are spent before he his stretchered off down the tunnel. Some of the home fans are giving a standing ovation (fair play and a little shocked that some fans have manners even in the derby). Momar Bangoura comes on for his debut. The midfielder drops into the centre back position as we have no cover.

Oxford are using the extra width and provide a superb cross on 69 minutes but the chance is thankfully spurned as the attacker slides in after the ball pasts the player. Ojamaa shows more rubbish (my notes say something not family friendly) with a cross that goes straight behind the goal.

A shot by Obika and he wins a corner after the defender makes the block. The Swindon fans are cheering wildly. We’ve had our first shot in ages… The corner is wasted! Oxford clear the ball that Brophy has let bounce. He gets caught out. The ball should have been put into row Z but the attacker gets goal side so he brings the Oxford player for a card the colour of the home side’s kit (yellow).

YESSSS – Ojamaa is substituted for former Oxford player, Jeremy Balmy. In a local derby and the substitute gets substituted… You need to be a lot better Henrik!!

It’s all kicking off in front of the Oxford fans. Branco indicates for a player to get up and stop diving. The Town player gets pushed and it becomes handbags at dawn. The referee deals with it but should have sent off two Oxford players (just because they play for Oxford – no other reason). There’s an Oxford substitute to calm things down again.

90 minutes down and a deflected cross falls to the Oxford attacker. He shoots but Branco makes a great block. The ball loops up but drops over the bar and to the safety of the corner. In injury time Town play around at the back. Vigouroux kicks the ball straight to the attacker who trips a cheeky chip from 35 yards but it lands on the roof of the net. That’s it; 2-0 to the home side and Town drop out of the JPT.

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