Oxford Utd 1, Cheltenham Tn 0

OXFORD United's excellent festive form continued as Peter Leven's penalty was enough to beat high-flying Cheltenham Town.

Chris Wilder's men had shown some classy touches in beating Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon over Christmas, but this victory owed plenty to guts and determination.

Leven took his chance from the spot in the first half after Tom Craddock had been tripped, which put United in charge.

They had chances, particularly in the second half, to make the game safe, but with only a slender lead the defence had to work hard to keep Cheltenham out.

Jake Wright stood out in an excellent rearguard action which sealed a fourth straight win and extended their unbeaten run into double figures.

United made just one change to the starting line-up, with Michael Duberry named in the XI for the first time this season.

He came in for Michael Raynes, who dropped out of the squad altogether.

With the U's in good form and Cheltenham going into the game in the automatic promotion places, the game promised much.

But there was little fluent football in the first half, with both sides visibly struggling to get to grips with a difficult surface which was feeling the after-effects of the wet weather and Saturday's rugby match.

Alfie Potter picked up where he left off in Saturday's 3-0 win at AFC Wimbledon, stinging the palms of Robins goalkeeper Scott Brown with the first sight of goal early on.

There was little to choose between the sides, but United found a breakthrough on 16 minutes.

Sean Rigg slipped a ball into Craddock, whose heels were clipped by Sido Jombati in the area.

Leven, who had scored from the spot in both previous games against Cheltenham this season, had no problems beating Brown from 12 yards.

The next clear chance came midway through the half.

United fans prepared to let out an enormous cheer as Duberry collected Rigg's cross, but the veteran could only shoot wide amid an audible sigh of disappointment from the terraces.

Cheltenham's lofty position in the table owed much to an excellent home record and they again struggled to find top gear on their travels.

Mark Yates's side had plenty of possession before the break, but struggled to open up their hosts.

Jermaine McGlashan was their main threat, but the winger could not stretch U's goalkeeper Ryan Clarke with his best chance on 25 minutes after getting the better of Damian Batt.

Jake Wright made several important interceptions to snuff out promising attacks, while Luke O'Brien did well at left back.

At the other end United only threatened fleetingly. Their best opening for a second goal before the break came on 34 minutes, when Brown just beat Rigg to a Constable through ball.

United came closest to scoring early in the second half.

Constable latched on to a loose ball and set Potter free down the right. The winger's cross sparked panic in Cheltenham's defence, but they scrambled the ball to safety.

The visitors went on to enjoy a good spell, pinning United back for several minutes.

A host of crosses rained down on Clarke's penalty area, but again Town could not forge a clear chance.

As they pushed forward in search of an equaliser, spaces began to open up.

Midway through the half Potter engineered a chance for himself, beating his man in the box but he placed a shot wide.

Substitute Josh Parker came close shortly after coming on. The new signing did well to cut in from the flank, only to blaze wildly over.

The lack of a second goal made United vulnerable and they rode their luck at times.

Substitute Shaun Harrad fizzed a shot from range just over and Billy Jones curled a free-kick wide in quick succession.

It ensured a nail-biting climax and hearts were in mouths in stoppage time when the ball fell to McGlashan, but the winger steered a shot over under pressure from Clarke.

But United deserved their clean sheet and saw out time to claim a hard-fought victory.

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:16pm Tue 1 Jan 13

oldun says...

Moaner here. COYY . Excellent to beat one of the top three. If we fail to go up this season then it will be a massive disappointment. CW – we MUST do it!
Moaner here. COYY . Excellent to beat one of the top three. If we fail to go up this season then it will be a massive disappointment. CW – we MUST do it! oldun
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Tue 1 Jan 13

cleverswindler says...

Steady Oldun with those compliments, just shows what happens when the injured players start to return.
Steady Oldun with those compliments, just shows what happens when the injured players start to return. cleverswindler
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Tue 1 Jan 13

BigAlBiker says...

We have to make sure that we don't lose Clarke, Wright, Leven, Constable, Potter, Batt, Davis, Rigg and Fanny Craddock before we think about mounting a challenge to the top end of the table, we need some quick skilfull midfielders and possibly a striker (not Parker) who can assist.

Onwards and upwards.
We have to make sure that we don't lose Clarke, Wright, Leven, Constable, Potter, Batt, Davis, Rigg and Fanny Craddock before we think about mounting a challenge to the top end of the table, we need some quick skilfull midfielders and possibly a striker (not Parker) who can assist. Onwards and upwards. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Tue 1 Jan 13

35 year fan says...

i see swind'un is still quietly chipping away as usual.....

another great result, now fingers crossed for a miracle and the FA actually watching the video of the beano red card properly.
i see swind'un is still quietly chipping away as usual..... another great result, now fingers crossed for a miracle and the FA actually watching the video of the beano red card properly. 35 year fan
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Tue 1 Jan 13

oldun says...

35 year fan (short timer then - but no doubt your patience will last longer than mine did) - sorry to spoil your detective work but if I ever supported another team, it would be Reading (but I won't) - and that's now't to do with the Royals playing against the likes of Villa and Norwich rather than Crawley and Stevenage . Cleverswindler , you must look up the definition of compliments - not even one in my first posting I just that it was "excellent to beat one of the top three" - we deserved to draw the game
35 year fan (short timer then - but no doubt your patience will last longer than mine did) - sorry to spoil your detective work but if I ever supported another team, it would be Reading (but I won't) - and that's now't to do with the Royals playing against the likes of Villa and Norwich rather than Crawley and Stevenage . Cleverswindler , you must look up the definition of compliments - not even one in my first posting I just that it was "excellent to beat one of the top three" - we deserved to draw the game oldun
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Tue 1 Jan 13

oldun says...

35 year fan (short timer then - but no doubt your patience will last longer than mine did) - sorry to spoil your detective work but if I ever supported another team, it would be Reading (but I won't) - and that's now't to do with the Royals playing against the likes of Villa and Norwich rather than Crawley and Stevenage . Cleverswindler , you must look up the definition of compliments - not even one in my first posting I just that it was "excellent to beat one of the top three" - we deserved to draw the game
35 year fan (short timer then - but no doubt your patience will last longer than mine did) - sorry to spoil your detective work but if I ever supported another team, it would be Reading (but I won't) - and that's now't to do with the Royals playing against the likes of Villa and Norwich rather than Crawley and Stevenage . Cleverswindler , you must look up the definition of compliments - not even one in my first posting I just that it was "excellent to beat one of the top three" - we deserved to draw the game oldun
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Tue 1 Jan 13

roy burton's tights says...

old un what are you on about. Not the end of the world if we do not go up. We need to have the finances first to enable the team to progress and support a manager who is doing a great job with a club who turned a loss last season. No point going up and getting thrashed every week.So get off the manager's back and support the team.
ps do not reply with the tired old cliche of other managers in this league get promotion with no money as all the teams who went up last year were in excellent financial position. COYY
old un what are you on about. Not the end of the world if we do not go up. We need to have the finances first to enable the team to progress and support a manager who is doing a great job with a club who turned a loss last season. No point going up and getting thrashed every week.So get off the manager's back and support the team. ps do not reply with the tired old cliche of other managers in this league get promotion with no money as all the teams who went up last year were in excellent financial position. COYY roy burton's tights
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Tue 1 Jan 13

oldun says...

roy burton's tights wrote:
old un what are you on about. Not the end of the world if we do not go up. We need to have the finances first to enable the team to progress and support a manager who is doing a great job with a club who turned a loss last season. No point going up and getting thrashed every week.So get off the manager's back and support the team.
ps do not reply with the tired old cliche of other managers in this league get promotion with no money as all the teams who went up last year were in excellent financial position. COYY
other managers in this league get promotion with no money
[quote][p][bold]roy burton's tights[/bold] wrote: old un what are you on about. Not the end of the world if we do not go up. We need to have the finances first to enable the team to progress and support a manager who is doing a great job with a club who turned a loss last season. No point going up and getting thrashed every week.So get off the manager's back and support the team. ps do not reply with the tired old cliche of other managers in this league get promotion with no money as all the teams who went up last year were in excellent financial position. COYY[/p][/quote]other managers in this league get promotion with no money oldun
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Magiltonmagic. says...

Old un how do you know the finances of other clubs? No team in this league would have coped with the injuries we've had and IF we achieve what every Oxford fan wants, promotion,then we ALL need to get behind the manager, The players clearly are so why can't you doom mongers do the same?
Old un how do you know the finances of other clubs? No team in this league would have coped with the injuries we've had and IF we achieve what every Oxford fan wants, promotion,then we ALL need to get behind the manager, The players clearly are so why can't you doom mongers do the same? Magiltonmagic.
  • Score: 0

10:03pm Tue 1 Jan 13

adlibber says...

Promotion is the only aim Wilder has no excuses. 3 league wins on the bounce is excellent but will mean nothing if we are still in league two next year. Wilder will bask in this temporary glory and he deserves that but ultimately he's had four years at the club and one promotion via play offs which isn't good enough in my view. Sorry to pour water on the rising optimism here but lest we forget how we limped out of a play off spot last season. I just hope the cup runs don't get in the way of this promising spell. Wilder will get the credit he deserves if we go up but if we don't we need a change. Why do the pro Wilder brigade assume any criticism of the manager implies its coming from Swindon fans? You folk need to check your insecurity. I lost faith in Wilder last season and I'm still to be convinced he has what it takes to take us forward. As ever I'm more than happy to be proved wrong.
Promotion is the only aim Wilder has no excuses. 3 league wins on the bounce is excellent but will mean nothing if we are still in league two next year. Wilder will bask in this temporary glory and he deserves that but ultimately he's had four years at the club and one promotion via play offs which isn't good enough in my view. Sorry to pour water on the rising optimism here but lest we forget how we limped out of a play off spot last season. I just hope the cup runs don't get in the way of this promising spell. Wilder will get the credit he deserves if we go up but if we don't we need a change. Why do the pro Wilder brigade assume any criticism of the manager implies its coming from Swindon fans? You folk need to check your insecurity. I lost faith in Wilder last season and I'm still to be convinced he has what it takes to take us forward. As ever I'm more than happy to be proved wrong. adlibber
  • Score: 0

12:01am Wed 2 Jan 13

dorsetyellows says...

The club need to get the pitch sorted, it is without question the worst condition i have ever seen it.
Also can we redesign the car park as following the hard fought draw against cheltenham most of the fans had decided to leave before showing the team their support for a true grit performance, A lap of honour must be a bit flat looking at empty seats .
The club need to get the pitch sorted, it is without question the worst condition i have ever seen it. Also can we redesign the car park as following the hard fought draw against cheltenham most of the fans had decided to leave before showing the team their support for a true grit performance, A lap of honour must be a bit flat looking at empty seats . dorsetyellows
  • Score: 0

12:01am Wed 2 Jan 13

dorsetyellows says...

The club need to get the pitch sorted, it is without question the worst condition i have ever seen it.
Also can we redesign the car park as following the hard fought draw against cheltenham most of the fans had decided to leave before showing the team their support for a true grit performance, A lap of honour must be a bit flat looking at empty seats .
The club need to get the pitch sorted, it is without question the worst condition i have ever seen it. Also can we redesign the car park as following the hard fought draw against cheltenham most of the fans had decided to leave before showing the team their support for a true grit performance, A lap of honour must be a bit flat looking at empty seats . dorsetyellows
  • Score: 0

6:11am Wed 2 Jan 13

oldun says...

Magiltonmagic. wrote:
Old un how do you know the finances of other clubs? No team in this league would have coped with the injuries we've had and IF we achieve what every Oxford fan wants, promotion,then we ALL need to get behind the manager, The players clearly are so why can't you doom mongers do the same?
How do you know that "no club would have coped with the injuries we've had " - just like my view - it is merely an opinion. Obviously "IF we achieve what every Oxford fan wants, promotion" - then I would get behind the manager - as long as it is at the end of this season.
[quote][p][bold]Magiltonmagic.[/bold] wrote: Old un how do you know the finances of other clubs? No team in this league would have coped with the injuries we've had and IF we achieve what every Oxford fan wants, promotion,then we ALL need to get behind the manager, The players clearly are so why can't you doom mongers do the same?[/p][/quote]How do you know that "no club would have coped with the injuries we've had " - just like my view - it is merely an opinion. Obviously "IF we achieve what every Oxford fan wants, promotion" - then I would get behind the manager - as long as it is at the end of this season. oldun
  • Score: 0

7:15am Wed 2 Jan 13

Brenda Jackson says...

A very welcome turn around, let's face it -it needed to be!
3 league wins and clean sheets- great, but there needs to be a few more yet to repair the damage done earlier in the season.
We won yesterday while not playing that well, 'a sign of a good team' is a well worn cliche' but i'm to be convinced CW's team are good, yet.
A very interesting test comes this saturday in the FAC 3rd round at home to the Blades, put them to the sword (ho hoo) and even i might start to believe again!
A very welcome turn around, let's face it -it needed to be! 3 league wins and clean sheets- great, but there needs to be a few more yet to repair the damage done earlier in the season. We won yesterday while not playing that well, 'a sign of a good team' is a well worn cliche' but i'm to be convinced CW's team are good, yet. A very interesting test comes this saturday in the FAC 3rd round at home to the Blades, put them to the sword (ho hoo) and even i might start to believe again! Brenda Jackson
  • Score: 0

7:20am Wed 2 Jan 13

Magiltonmagic. says...

Al the teams at the top have had settled sides this season something we have'nt it's not rocket science.
Al the teams at the top have had settled sides this season something we have'nt it's not rocket science. Magiltonmagic.
  • Score: 0

8:06am Wed 2 Jan 13

dorsetyellows says...

Sorry , obviously mean win not draw in my last post. Also not only is the pitch thin on the ground, the squad is too , quality players required from now on please mr chairman, more ambition for 2013 !
Sorry , obviously mean win not draw in my last post. Also not only is the pitch thin on the ground, the squad is too , quality players required from now on please mr chairman, more ambition for 2013 ! dorsetyellows
  • Score: 0

10:37am Wed 2 Jan 13

YellowRose says...

I don't care what league we are in... I love OUFC and always will x
I don't care what league we are in... I love OUFC and always will x YellowRose
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Doctor69 says...

Good run of form at the moment which i really didnt see coming before the xmas fixtures.

Lets hope they can keep it up!

COYY
Good run of form at the moment which i really didnt see coming before the xmas fixtures. Lets hope they can keep it up! COYY Doctor69
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Wed 2 Jan 13

rankandfile says...

its got to be a lucky omen we are up to 13 in the league in the year of 2013
forget the moaners' get behind the team were on our way up come on you yellows
its got to be a lucky omen we are up to 13 in the league in the year of 2013 forget the moaners' get behind the team were on our way up come on you yellows rankandfile
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Brenda Jackson says...

rankandfile wrote:
its got to be a lucky omen we are up to 13 in the league in the year of 2013 forget the moaners' get behind the team were on our way up come on you yellows
''Forget the moaners'' The ones who had good reason to 'moan' you mean?
Supporters have been voting with their feet, even some season ticket holders not attending, just how bad does it have to get before 'moaners' get listened to?

Like many i care for the Club i support, but when it's apparent things are going down the plughole- i feel it my perogative to 'moan' - i pays me money after all.

Others take another view, and no matter how bad accept it, they are called 'losers' i believe.
[quote][p][bold]rankandfile[/bold] wrote: its got to be a lucky omen we are up to 13 in the league in the year of 2013 forget the moaners' get behind the team were on our way up come on you yellows[/p][/quote]''Forget the moaners'' The ones who had good reason to 'moan' you mean? Supporters have been voting with their feet, even some season ticket holders not attending, just how bad does it have to get before 'moaners' get listened to? Like many i care for the Club i support, but when it's apparent things are going down the plughole- i feel it my perogative to 'moan' - i pays me money after all. Others take another view, and no matter how bad accept it, they are called 'losers' i believe. Brenda Jackson
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Wed 2 Jan 13

winger whitley says...

There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.
There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact. winger whitley
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Wed 2 Jan 13

oldun says...

winger whitley wrote:
There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.
"Lacking in any real insight" - a tad patronising, perhaps
[quote][p][bold]winger whitley[/bold] wrote: There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.[/p][/quote]"Lacking in any real insight" - a tad patronising, perhaps oldun
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Wed 2 Jan 13

adlibber says...

winger whitley wrote:
There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.
your talking rubbish - Defend Wilder all you want but the from last seasons pathetic limping out of play offs to the 6 defeats on the bounce this season can't all be blamed on injuries. Wilder is tactically naive, has signed several poor loanees and has no plan B. We're riding our luck and long may it continue but should this mini run stop and we return to a string of defeats Wilder has no excuses any more. Injuries happen to plenty of other clubs Wilder has simply relied on this to cover his inadequacies. If you think Wilder is doing a grand job I think you insight needs to be questioned. If we get promoted this year I'll doff my cap to your wisdom - if we don't I expect Wilder to be relieved of his job.
[quote][p][bold]winger whitley[/bold] wrote: There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.[/p][/quote]your talking rubbish - Defend Wilder all you want but the from last seasons pathetic limping out of play offs to the 6 defeats on the bounce this season can't all be blamed on injuries. Wilder is tactically naive, has signed several poor loanees and has no plan B. We're riding our luck and long may it continue but should this mini run stop and we return to a string of defeats Wilder has no excuses any more. Injuries happen to plenty of other clubs Wilder has simply relied on this to cover his inadequacies. If you think Wilder is doing a grand job I think you insight needs to be questioned. If we get promoted this year I'll doff my cap to your wisdom - if we don't I expect Wilder to be relieved of his job. adlibber
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Wed 2 Jan 13

oldun says...

adlibber wrote:
winger whitley wrote:
There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.
your talking rubbish - Defend Wilder all you want but the from last seasons pathetic limping out of play offs to the 6 defeats on the bounce this season can't all be blamed on injuries. Wilder is tactically naive, has signed several poor loanees and has no plan B. We're riding our luck and long may it continue but should this mini run stop and we return to a string of defeats Wilder has no excuses any more. Injuries happen to plenty of other clubs Wilder has simply relied on this to cover his inadequacies. If you think Wilder is doing a grand job I think you insight needs to be questioned. If we get promoted this year I'll doff my cap to your wisdom - if we don't I expect Wilder to be relieved of his job.
hear , hear!
[quote][p][bold]adlibber[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]winger whitley[/bold] wrote: There's a big difference between constructive criticism and moaning. The bulk of those against Wilder are whingers, well meaning but lacking in any real insight. What can't be argued with is the fact that this is the first period, that goes way back into last season where injuries aren't an issue. The results tend to confirm this fact.[/p][/quote]your talking rubbish - Defend Wilder all you want but the from last seasons pathetic limping out of play offs to the 6 defeats on the bounce this season can't all be blamed on injuries. Wilder is tactically naive, has signed several poor loanees and has no plan B. We're riding our luck and long may it continue but should this mini run stop and we return to a string of defeats Wilder has no excuses any more. Injuries happen to plenty of other clubs Wilder has simply relied on this to cover his inadequacies. If you think Wilder is doing a grand job I think you insight needs to be questioned. If we get promoted this year I'll doff my cap to your wisdom - if we don't I expect Wilder to be relieved of his job.[/p][/quote]hear , hear! oldun
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree