Oxford Utd 0, Forest Green 0 (31/08)

First published in 08/09 season by

Oxford United dropped their first points at home this season as Forest Green frustrated them at the Kassam Stadium.

Matt Green missed two glorious chances from close in, one in each half, as the U's failed to score for the first time this campaign.

The Gloucestershire outfit hadn't managed a point in six previous Blue Square Premier matches but they carved out arguably the better chances after playing with great enterprise going forward.

There was another special atmosphere at the ground as United fans came out in good numbers on the warm afternoon, with the Oxford Mail Stand a sea of yellow.

Chris Wilder brought Alfie Potter and Matt Green back into the side, and gave a debut to on-loan Rangers left back Steven Kinniburgh.

It didn't take the U's long to find space as they attacked towards the car park end in the first half, Adam Murray picking out Green for one penetrating run, and then delivering a pinpoint cross for Mark Creighton, which the big man controlled on his chest only to see the ball run away to the keeper.

There was controversy in the tenth minute when Forest Green striker Sean Rigg was booked for diving in the box to try to win a penalty, just seconds after a fine last-ditch tacle by Kinniburgh on Jon Challinor which prevented him getting in a shot.

After the furore with Arsenal's Eduardo, it wasn't the brightest thing for Rigg to try.

Murray has sown he can play just about anywhere in the team, and this time he was operating on the left of midfield.

And when Simon Clist's deft chip over a defender gave the captain the opportunity to fire over a left-wing cross, it should have brought United a goal.

The cross was perfectl;y weighted in front of keeper Terry Burton and behind the visitors' defence, but Green scooped it over the bar for a miss he will find hard to believe.

The striker had another half-chance later in the opening period when he darted in between the two central defenders, but screwed a left-foot shot wide.

By then, Kinniburgh had been involved in more drama with a hard, two-footed - but not high - tackle on Jon Challinor near the left touchline. It left Challinor rolling around on the ground in pain but after treatment he was fine to continue.

Some Forest Green players clearly thought the tackle was dangerous, but the ref, who was only yards away, didn't.

As the home side continued to press, Dannie Bulamn tried his luck with a 20-yard drive, which Terry Burton saved to his left.

Forest Green were a lot better going forward than their league position shows, and it needed some good tracking back by Clist, against his former club, to deny them a goal after they had got behind United's defence.

In the last throes of the first half, James Constable was left very frustrated by a harsh refereeing decision that he had fouled Mark Ellis. To most people in the stadium, it looked a fair challenge and he would have been left with a clear run on goal.

The second half started scrappily and it was the visitors, going up an extra gear, who looked the more likely to break through.

Left back Curtis McDonald played a one-two and brke clear, but fired an angled shot into the side-netting.

With Jack Midson still injured, Wilder didn't have a striker on the bench to bring on as his team started running out of ideas.

It looked as though their best opportunity might come from a set piecem and on 68 minutes, Creighton headed Kinniburgh's free-kick across goal for Constable, running in, but he planted his header wide.

On the break, Rovers then nearly snatched the lead.

Left back Paul Stonehouse broke clear to fire in a shot from the left edge of the box, but Clarke got his fingers to it to ensure it went for a corner.

In injury time, Green went close with a flicked header, this time from a difficult chance, and Forest Green's timewasting tactics paid off as the time ran out.

Oxford Utd: Clarke; Batt, Foster, Creighton, Kinniburgh; Potter (Chapman 79), Bulman, Clist, Murray, Constable, Green. Subs not used: Turley, Sandwith, Kelly, Perry.

Ref: Wayne Barratt (Worcestershire).

Att: 6,338 (146 from Forest Green)

Comments (6)

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6:35pm Mon 31 Aug 09

Joe1 says...

Oh dear Oh Dear, what a dreadful performance. THe front runners could have been there all and NOT scored. Mised at least two easy chances. The team seemed half asleep at times. Since the goals against Chester, they seemed to have dried up. Need to take pleanty of goal scoring practise befrore our next game. Lets get this bogy team out of the way & play some proper football on Saturday. We must be able to take our chances well or rue the results.
Oh dear Oh Dear, what a dreadful performance. THe front runners could have been there all and NOT scored. Mised at least two easy chances. The team seemed half asleep at times. Since the goals against Chester, they seemed to have dried up. Need to take pleanty of goal scoring practise befrore our next game. Lets get this bogy team out of the way & play some proper football on Saturday. We must be able to take our chances well or rue the results. Joe1
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Mon 31 Aug 09

Richard Wickson says...

Well the manager called for focus but this lot couldnt see a thing, Matt Green missing a sitter proves my point, the lower teams always cause us problems and Ebbsfleet next week will be no different so for heavens sake lets have a better team performance. The supply to the forwards is poor but i did say after CW said his team was complete that another striker was required and when the bench doesnt have one its as obvious as the nose on your face. This was a dreadfull performance and brings into perspective that the bottom teams never roll over unless you force them to and FORCE is something we lack. Poor,Poor,Poor. sort it out CW and get them back on track before we tumble down the League. And get rid of Andy Melville, the defence is a shambles and survive on luck alone, Clarke was his usual self and probably should have been sent off and more often than not would have been, the defence is worse this season than last (second half) and Melville wasnt there than so the maths isnt difficult, most of the players as individuals are better but as a defensive unit are very poor and need sorting out. The problems need sorting quickly.
Well the manager called for focus but this lot couldnt see a thing, Matt Green missing a sitter proves my point, the lower teams always cause us problems and Ebbsfleet next week will be no different so for heavens sake lets have a better team performance. The supply to the forwards is poor but i did say after CW said his team was complete that another striker was required and when the bench doesnt have one its as obvious as the nose on your face. This was a dreadfull performance and brings into perspective that the bottom teams never roll over unless you force them to and FORCE is something we lack. Poor,Poor,Poor. sort it out CW and get them back on track before we tumble down the League. And get rid of Andy Melville, the defence is a shambles and survive on luck alone, Clarke was his usual self and probably should have been sent off and more often than not would have been, the defence is worse this season than last (second half) and Melville wasnt there than so the maths isnt difficult, most of the players as individuals are better but as a defensive unit are very poor and need sorting out. The problems need sorting quickly. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Mon 31 Aug 09

amershamdave says...

Richard

Usually, I write in with a bit of humour, if I can. I don't want to agree with your last post, but I have to.

Our defence is full of individuals, not as one. Our attacking options, Beano excepted, is weak. Sorry if that appears harsh, but from what I've seen of Matt Green, I can now see why Torquay were keen to offload him. Not just today, but he's missed too many 'sitters' for my liking. Alfie Potter scored against Liverpool, and....well, perhaps we got too carried away with him.

What's happened to Jack Midson? Surely his injury isn't that bad, is it? Is there something we should Know?
Richard Usually, I write in with a bit of humour, if I can. I don't want to agree with your last post, but I have to. Our defence is full of individuals, not as one. Our attacking options, Beano excepted, is weak. Sorry if that appears harsh, but from what I've seen of Matt Green, I can now see why Torquay were keen to offload him. Not just today, but he's missed too many 'sitters' for my liking. Alfie Potter scored against Liverpool, and....well, perhaps we got too carried away with him. What's happened to Jack Midson? Surely his injury isn't that bad, is it? Is there something we should Know? amershamdave
  • Score: 0

9:24pm Mon 31 Aug 09

doddsyblues says...

How can you be bitter after the best start to a season for a long time, we are still head of the table, still unbeaten and we haven't been BEATAN. Where's the supporters confidence, if Man Utd were drawing and they ended up with a draw, it's a good result. We played on Saturday and again today, how can the players be mentally ready. After the game CW said that the players were physically tired, after all you have all just had a long weekend, unlike me who had to work today. Keep Positive!
How can you be bitter after the best start to a season for a long time, we are still head of the table, still unbeaten and we haven't been BEATAN. Where's the supporters confidence, if Man Utd were drawing and they ended up with a draw, it's a good result. We played on Saturday and again today, how can the players be mentally ready. After the game CW said that the players were physically tired, after all you have all just had a long weekend, unlike me who had to work today. Keep Positive! doddsyblues
  • Score: 0

10:12pm Mon 31 Aug 09

hughcurran says...

while i still think we have a great chance of getting promo this season i did say there would be no easy games & it will be very tough!
we have a long long season in front of us & there will be many more ups n downs but if we stay positive we will be ok im sure......
while i still think we have a great chance of getting promo this season i did say there would be no easy games & it will be very tough! we have a long long season in front of us & there will be many more ups n downs but if we stay positive we will be ok im sure...... hughcurran
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Tue 1 Sep 09

tolpuddle martyr says...

Best thing about yesterday's game was that I changed my mind and did'nt make the 200 round trip to the match. Obviously we are not as good as the first six results suggested and although 4 points from Wimbledon (A) and Forest Green (H) is OK we must learn to get maximum points, especially at home, against the teams at or near the bottom. It would appear that there is no outstanding team in this League, Luton included, who are going to run away with the title. One poor performance I can live with, another at Ebbsfleet will have me eally worried.
Best thing about yesterday's game was that I changed my mind and did'nt make the 200 round trip to the match. Obviously we are not as good as the first six results suggested and although 4 points from Wimbledon (A) and Forest Green (H) is OK we must learn to get maximum points, especially at home, against the teams at or near the bottom. It would appear that there is no outstanding team in this League, Luton included, who are going to run away with the title. One poor performance I can live with, another at Ebbsfleet will have me eally worried. tolpuddle martyr
  • Score: 0

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