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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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26 December 2019 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Oxford United V The Imps

26 December 2019

City take on Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium today as the festive season of football kicks off.

The Imps will be aiming to get back to winning ways against their hosts in the first of four games in nine days in SkyBet League One. Michael Appleton’s side will be keen to put on a performance against Karl Robinson’s side to avenge the defeat against The U’s at LNER Stadium earlier in the season.  Oxford were in the early throes of a lengthy unbeaten run on that day back in September but have recently tasted defeat twice recently.

Today’s game between the sides will be the 32nd in competitive action, and The Imps will be aiming to win at the home of the U’s for the first time since a 1-0 win back in December 2005, when Richard Logan netted the only goal of the game ten minutes from time.

City supporters not making the trip to the game can watch the action LIVE today on WeAreImps iFollow for just £10 by clicking HERE- International Imps can also watch the game LIVE by clicking the same link.

Recent Form

The U’s currently occupy 6th spot in Skybet League One with a host of clubs on their coattails for the playoff spot.  In their last five games in league action, which stretches back to early November, they have won twice. Once on the road at Southend before defeating Wycombe Wanderers in their last outing at the Kassam Stadium.

They’ve also drawn on the road at Portsmouth, at home to Shrewsbury Town as well as slipping to defeat at Stadium: MK in mid December.

Last 5 league games - DWDLW

Manager’s comments

United boss, Karl Robinson, is looking forward to this busy period for his side as he says that any points gained in the upcoming period could be vital by the end of the season.

“I think we all know the importance of decent results at this time of year – it doesn’t half help you.

“We had a mini-revival last year in November and early December and then all of a sudden we ran out of legs because we didn’t have enough players who were able to compete and we lost all three (Christmas games).

Watch the game LIVE on WeAreImps iFollow today

Imps’ fans can keep up with the game today LIVE on WeAreImps iFollow with all the action being streamed domestically and internationally, complimented with commentary coming from BBC Radio Lincolnshire Sport’s team of Michael Hortin and Steve Thompson – For details click HERE

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Oxford United V The Imps

26 December 2019

The Imps slipped to defeat this afternoon at the hands of hosts Oxford United at the start of a busy few days in Skybet League One.

A blockbuster of a goal by U’s number 16, Shandon Baptiste, just as The Imps were growing in confidence in the first half was to win the points for Karl Robinson’s side. City couldn’t breach the home defence despite a number of crossing opportunities, pushing right to the final whistle but it just wasn’t to be.

The Teams

The Imps made one change from the side which faced Coventry City last weekend, Joe Morrell came back into the starting eleven, with Ellis Chapman swapping places with the Welsh international midfielder and taking a spot on the bench.

Oxford United also made one change from the team that started their last League outing, Matty Taylor coming in to the side with experienced striker Jamie Mackie dropping onto the substitutes bench.

Oxford United: 

Archer, Cadden, Ruffels, Dickie, Gorrin, Brannagan, Taylor, Fosu, Mousinho, Baptiste, Henry

Substitutes: Stevens, Moore, Hall, Long, Sykes, Mackie, Agyei

The Imps: 

lineup V Oxford.jpg

Kick Off

City began the game defending the end of the pitch without a stand, the same half in which their travelling supporters were situated, and although the atmosphere drifted almost out of the stadium it didn’t hamper the entertainment on the pitch.

The home side were showing their qualities which has seen them pick up plaudits this season aiming to monopolise possession somewhat, however, for all their early possession it was The Imps who were to get the first shot away. After nicking the ball on halfway, Jorge Grant was set on his way down the left, he cut inside before looking up to slide possession into Joe Morrell who tried one first time but it sliced wide of goal.

In possession City had to be precise and quick, both in their pace on the ball and in their movement. It was that speed of thought which gave a chance for Harry Anderson to get a shot away. Grant showed fantastic skill to backheel a low pass from Morrell into the path of Jake Hesketh, he slid the ball into the feet of Anderson, who used the run of Neal Eardley on the overlap to fool his marker and get a shot away but it was blocked by John Mousinho as it headed goalwards.  The game was very open and expansive from both sides, Taylor tried to force home a right wing cross but Michael Bostwick put in just enough of a leg to deny the number nine a true strike on the ball and it bobbled through to Josh Vickers who gathered gleefully.  Cameron Brannigan showed very quick feet to detach the close attention of Anderson to shoot but his effort skipped off the wet turf and wide.

Vickers then was called into action by the hosts number eight, Brannagan smashed a dangerous effort on target which appeared to be swerving with the help of the wind but the City ‘keeper did very well to save, diving to his right before palming the ball clear from danger.

After receiving the ball into his feet on halfway, Walker felt the full force of a challenge from Alex Gorrin from behind which left the City man on the floor needing treatment. He was back on his feet and set The Imps forward for the first of what was a flurry of crosses into the box, Toffolo pinged the first ball in which couldn’t be turned home before Eardley put in another dangerous centre which was inches away from Hesketh. For all City’s stout defensive work and growth in confidence which had brought a nervousness to the home support, there was nothing that Vickers could do when BAPTISTE let fly from distance as it arrowed into the top corner.

City kept plugging away for the equaliser with Eardley pinging in yet another ball into the Oxford area but the home defence kept Walker away from connecting with the cross as the first half came to a close.

Half Time

Oxford United 1 The Imps 0

Unchanged for the start of the second half, City started brightly pressing quickly when the hosts were in possession.  In comparison to the opening half in an attacking sense, the game wasn’t as free flowing with neither side able to really boss the game.

The Imps were plugging away, Grant and Toffolo linked well out wide on the left after Hesketh did well to force possession back the way of the visitors, the overlapping full back pinged in a hard cross which was well defended and the ball was quickly taken forward by the hosts who chanced their arm from distance James Henry though was to find Vickers alert to the danger as he saved low to his right.

John Akinde was introduced on the hour mark adding an extra prong to the Imps’ attack, O’Connor the man leaving the field. Eardley was showing all his experience, reading play well to try to fashion the next chance for the Imps, it resulted in Walker being brought down on the right by Baptiste. Over the free kick was Grant, his curling outswinger was met by Walker who leapt highest to try to turn the ball goalwards, Archer was flatfooted but the ball just went wide of the mark.

The Imps were growing in confidence, the home fans were getting a little restless and when Walker looked to have got the better of a trio of Oxford defenders, their fans all took a sharp intake of breath with Akinde also looking to assist his strike partner. However, Mousinho took things into his own hands and hauled back the City man to halt the attack resulting in a caution for the skipper.

Hesketh was replaced with just over 15 minutes to go, former Oxford player Jack Payne coming on for The Imps as more and more of the game was being played in home territory.  Akinde created a chance for Walker that took a deflection off a U’s defender before Archer clutched it to his chest as City were banging harder on the door than they had all game to this point.

CS2009_Oxford_v_Lincoln.jpg

Oxford briefly rallied but it was The Imps finishing the game the stronger, Anderson won a corner for the visitors which didn’t trouble the home side initially but City won a free kick for a foul on Toffolo. Grant pinged in the set piece which brought another corner to the away side, again it was only half cleared as Michael Appleton’s side kept Oxford pinned into their own half.

Going right to the final whistle and winning a late corner City threw caution to the wind with Vickers involved in the six yard box, the ball cannoned off the Oxford upright as a host of City players went for the ball as The Imps threw everything at their hosts but the hosts just managed to cling on for three points.

Full Time

Oxford United 1 The Imps 0

 

Next up for The Imps is the visit of Ipswich Town to LNER Stadium on Sunday 29th December – If you can’t get to the game remember you can watch the game LIVE on WeAreImps iFollow for just £10 in full HD, with commentary from BBC Radio Lincolnshire Sport – For full details click HERE

 

The Teams:

Oxford United

26        Jordan ARCHER

2          Chris CADDEN

3          Josh RUFFELS

4          Rob DICKIE

6          Alex GORRIN

8          Cameron BRANNAGAN

9          Matty TAYLOR

11        Tariqe FOSU

15        John MOUSINHO

16        Shandon BAPTISTE

17        James HENRY

Substitutes

13        Jack STEVENS

5          Elliott MOORE (85’ for Fosu)

7          Rob HALL

12        Sam LONG

18        Mark SYKES (67’ for Henry)

19        Jamie MACKIE (73’ for Taylor)

23        Dan AGYEI

GOAL: Baptiste 36’

Booked: Mousinho 71’, Baptiste 82’

The Imps

1          Josh VICKERS

3          Harry TOFFOLO

4          Michael O’CONNOR

6          Cian BOLGER

16        Michael BOSTWICK

17        Tyler WALKER

18        Jorge GRANT

19        Joe MORRELL

23        Neal EARDLEY

26        Harry ANDERSON

28        Jake HESKETH

Substitutes

21        Grant SMITH

7          Tom PETT

10        Jack PAYNE (73’ for Hesketh)

12        Ellis CHAPMAN

20        Callum CONNOLLY

24        Max MELBOURNE

29        John AKINDE (60’ for O’Connor)

Booked: O’Connor 45’, Morrell 69’

Referee: Will Finnie

Assistants: Joe Clark & David Hunt

4th Official: Gareth Viccars

Attendance: 10,115 (630 Imps’ supporters)

 

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