OXFORD UNITED (2) 4 ALTRINCHAM (0) 0
played on Saturday, 5 January 2008, at 3pm.
After falling behind after 22 minutes and then conceding a second goal from a penalty just before the interval, Altrincham were comprehensively outplayed in the second half. Oxford debutant McAllister got the first after Darren Tinson had failed to cut out an aerial ball up the middle and the penalty came when Yemi Odubade went down with his customary ease under Coburn's challenge. Duffy converted the penalty. Oxford dominated the second half, with Duffy hooking in number three (54 mins) and Fisher adding a fourth, nine minutes from the end.
REFEREE: Mr Andy Turner
Alty fielded the same side that beat Northwich except that Pat McFadden replaced the ill Colin Little. So all six of the new signings started except for Greg Young who was on the bench.
Oxford included their new signings, striker Craig McAllister from Grays and midfielder Adam Murray from Macclesfield.
OXFORD UNITED (Yellow shirts, blue shorts and yellow socks) 1. Billy TURLEY, 21. Matt DAY, 3. Michael CORCORAN, 16. Luke FOSTER, 20. Alex JEANNIN; 10. Yemi ODUBADE, 23. Adam MURRAY, 18. Phil TRAINER, 19. Joel LEDGISTER; 12. Craig McALLISTER, 9. Rob DUFFY. Subs: 7. Carl PETTEFER, 15. Ben WEEDON, 37. Alex FISHER, 41. James CLARKE, 42. Sam WARRELL.
ALTRINCHAM (Red and white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN; 15. Chris LANE, 5. Darren TINSON (capt), 16. Ryan SHOTTON, 24. James JENNINGS; 23. Ryan TOULSON, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 25. Liam KING, 11. Warren PEYTON; 18. Pat McFADDEN, 14. Tom CAHILL. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 6. Jake SEDGEMORE, 10. Greg YOUNG, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 22. Carlos LOGAN.
Torrential rain preceded the match and continued as Oxford kicked off the game on a cold afternoon. Oxford had the better of the opening minutes but without creating any chances. For Alty, Cahill was displaying plenty of commitment but got little change out of the home defence. The visitors then came into things and finally got a shot at goal but Turley comfortably saved Peyton's low shot from Cahill's lay-off (19 mins). But just as it looked as if Alty might match their opponents, they conceded a goal. A Robins' attack had just ended in Cahill being penalised on the by-line to the left of goal, when Turley launched a free kick forward. The ball just skimmed the top of Tinson's head and fell invitingly into McAllister's path and he drove it firmly past Coburn from 15 yards (22 mins).
From Shotton's long throw, Alty immediately won a corner which came to nothing. After several fairly even minutes without any goal chances, Ledgister, who had swapped wings with Odubade, gained a corner when his cross from the right came off Jennings (30 mins). Alty were then caught offside a couple of times before Ledgister got past Jennings and saw his cross headed against the underside of the bar by McAllister (33 mins). Next, Coburn came to his side's rescue as he made a fine save from Duffy, tipping the ball round his left post for a corner (38 mins). This corner bounced across the Alty goalmouth before Lane mis-kicked it out for a corner on Oxford's left, which Shotton headed clear.
As with their first goal, Oxford's second immediately followed an Alty attack. Cahill had just got clear, but was hauled back for offside when Alty were again caught cold by a ball up the middle which set Odubade into the box, left of goal. Coburn dived at the striker's feet and Odubade predictably went down but referee Turner pointed to the spot, though he took no action against the keeper. Duffy coolly sent Coburn the wrong way from the spot (41 mins).
When Cahill won a header to set McFadden free inside the Oxford half, the referee annoyingly blew for an Alty freekick. Then as the half drew to a close, Oxford scrambled another Alty attack clear but after one minute of added tlme "brought to you by the Press Group", according to the match-day announcer, the interval arrived.
|Half-Time: OXFORD UNITED 2 ALTRINCHAM 0|
Oxford went at Alty from the start of the second half and should have tested Coburn when Peyton's error allowed Ledgister a shot, which he put wide (46 mins). Rain was again pouring down as Odubade's blatant dive in the box went unrewarded and Mr Turner subsequently went back to book the tumbling forward. But Alty had a further close shave when Duffy fed McAllister, but he shot wide. With Alty under the cosh, O'Neill came on up front for McFadden (53 mins). However, the pressure continued and it took a fine block from Peyton to see off Ledgister. But from a long throw from their right corner Duffy scored with an acrobatic hook past Coburn as the static Alty defence allowed the ball to bounce in the box (54 mins).
Oxford continued to pin Alty back in their own half and, after King had been booked for a foul on Murray, McAllister's deflected shot yielded a corner (57 mins). A superb ball forward from Murray, the impressive debutant from Macclesfield, was wasted by Ledgister but, soon afterwards, Coburn missed Odubade's cross from the left and Duffy headed only narrowly wide. Now Greg Young came on for his Alty debut, replacing midfielder King but slotting in at left back, as Jennings moved to left midfield and Peyton to central midfield (60 mins).
The one-way traffic continued as McAllister headed Murray's corner narrowly wide. For Alty, Young showed some good touches on his debut but Alty were unable to find a supply-line to their forwards until a good move up the right saw Cahill's cross from the right come to Jennings, beyond the back post. His cross was headed wide by Lawton, however (69 mins).
Oxford brought on Pettefer for Odubade (74 mins) and after a Lawton cross and an underhit shot from Cahill at one end, Oxford won a corner at the other (76 mins). Oxford had the ball in the net after two superb blocks from Coburn, but the offside flag came to Alty's rescue. Now, Fisher replaced Duffy for United (78 mins).
An Oxford corner came and went before Ledgister got behind the Alty defence and his low cross from the right was turned into the net from close range by Fisher (81 mins). At this point Logan came on up front for Alty's Cahill. Two minutes later, Clarke replaced Ledgister (83 mins). The remaining time and three added minutes did not change things and Alty were again thankful to results elsewhere for not worsening their situation. Alty had worked hard throughout but, as against Stevenage Borough last week, they were simply up against a better resourced club who had returned to good form and had too much ability for them to handle.
|Full-Time: OXFORD UNITED 4 ALTRINCHAM 0|