Oxford United 1 (Constable 50) Burton Albion 1 (Maghoma 70)

Oxford United keeper Max Crocombe collects a high ball safely

Oxford United keeper Max Crocombe collects a high ball safely

First published in Sport
Last updated
The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

JAMES Constable returned from suspension with a goal, but Oxford United were unable to hold on to their lead as the spoils were shared with Burton Albion.

After a quiet opening 45 minutes the game was livened up when the striker took his tally for the season into double figures early in the second half.

The Brewers looked to be there for the taking, but the home side could not find a second goal to make the game safe.

Instead the visitors struck through a rare moment of attacking threat from Jacques Maghoma 20 minutes from time.

United could not find a late winner, so had to settle for a draw.

James Constable and Tom Craddock returned up front, but the most striking of five changes to the starting line-up came in goal, where Max Crocombe replaced Wayne Brown for his senior debut.

The 19-year-old's every touch was cheered warmly by the home fans early on as a series of routine kicks helped calm the nerves.

Instead it was his opposite number, Stuart Tomlinson, who looked edgy early on in a difficult swirling wind.

The Burton goalkeeper opted to punch Luke O'Brien's 12th-minute cross when under no pressure, but the ball fell safe.

Both sides struggled to find a rhythm, appearing to be in two minds due to the conditions.

The blustery wind suggested the ball should be kept on the floor, but the bumpy playing surface made fluid football difficult.

United were forced into an enforced substitution midway through the half, when Michael Duberry picked up a knock and was replaced by Michael Raynes.

The home side's attacking product in the opening half hour consisted of one drilled shot from Damian Batt which flew wide.

But as the half wore on they began to cause Burton problems, especially through Sean Rigg, who had the measure of full back Anthony O'Connor.

The best passing move of the half led to the clearest chance before the break, on 33 minutes.

Adam Chapman, another to be recalled into the XI, picked out Batt at the back post. The full back arrived at pace and did well to improvise a half volley, which was superbly tipped round the post by Tomlinson.

From Peter Leven's resulting corner Raynes leapt highest, but could not keep his header down.

With the next attack Rigg crossed for Craddock, whose sharp spin and centre was almost deflected in for an own goal.

Crocombe almost blotted his copybook late in the half when he failed to get hold of an attempted punch at a corner.

The home fans held their breath for a moment and were relieved, along with the young stopper, to see the ball drift wide.

Another unplanned change was forced upon the U's at the interval, with Tony Capaldi replacing Leven.

The substitute took just five minutes to make an impact.

A cross took a deflection which went unnoticed by Burton's defence, who let the ball out for what they thought was a goal kick.

Instead the referee awarded a corner, which Capaldi swung in for Constable to convert.

The goal opened the game up immediately and United's attacking players began to find space.

Potter had a jinking run and shot which Tomlinson hung on to at his near post.

The hosts were in control and looking for a second goal to kill off the game.

They almost got it when Chapman crossed low for Raynes, whose flick went wide.

Burton boss Gary Rowett responded by replacing his front two.

The second substitution seemed to distract the U's, who were quickly pegged back.

A cross found Batt outnumbered by three opponents at the back post and the ball fell to Maghoma, who was given space to tuck a shot into the corner.

It gave both sides 20 minutes to find a winner.

Craddock had a glorious chance on 77 minutes when Batt's cross fell to his feet, only for the striker to snatch at the shot and blaze over from 12 yards.

At the other end substitute Billy Kee twice shot over following weak clearances from Raynes.

Kee had the final chance deep into stoppage time, but he volleyed apologetically wide from Maghoma's set-up.

Comments (7)

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3:36am Wed 30 Jan 13

BenkiuGuasu says...

Beano man of the match. Joint 3rd best Oxford scorer in our history. WE SALUTE YOU.... You have made it to the hall of fame....

Max Crocombe. Brilliant start. Your composure is impressive - such a necessary quality in a keeper. I hope you keep your place. Another worthy winner of man of the match.
Beano man of the match. Joint 3rd best Oxford scorer in our history. WE SALUTE YOU.... You have made it to the hall of fame.... Max Crocombe. Brilliant start. Your composure is impressive - such a necessary quality in a keeper. I hope you keep your place. Another worthy winner of man of the match. BenkiuGuasu
  • Score: 0

6:20am Wed 30 Jan 13

adlibber says...

one win in five games - the wilder inconsistency bug strikes again. Next 4 games may define our season and Wilder's future.

Last 3 seasons have been one big repeat, flirt with relegation,toy with a play off spot and nestle into mid table mediocrity.
one win in five games - the wilder inconsistency bug strikes again. Next 4 games may define our season and Wilder's future. Last 3 seasons have been one big repeat, flirt with relegation,toy with a play off spot and nestle into mid table mediocrity. adlibber
  • Score: 0

8:16am Wed 30 Jan 13

oldun says...

Push on for third place!! COYY
Push on for third place!! COYY oldun
  • Score: 0

8:21am Wed 30 Jan 13

PT1 says...

Craddock expected a perfect ball to him every time he had an opportunity and due to this he had a bad game. Smalley coming on made a difference, would be good to see him start at Southend instead of Craddock!!

Potter had a bad day, Leven looked like he had been made to playeven though he was sick before the game. Was a shame to see Doobs come off with a pulled Hamstring.

Max Crocome was brilliant, for his first league two game he had a good start and was more convincing than Brown has been over the past few games.

All in all we looked the better side, we were unfortunate to let one past us but it was sloppy even though Batt had three men on him alone before they put it into the net.
Feels like we lost out on two points but a better looking game overall than last Saturday.

Keep the faith, let's see three points from Southend away this weekend.

COYY
Craddock expected a perfect ball to him every time he had an opportunity and due to this he had a bad game. Smalley coming on made a difference, would be good to see him start at Southend instead of Craddock!! Potter had a bad day, Leven looked like he had been made to playeven though he was sick before the game. Was a shame to see Doobs come off with a pulled Hamstring. Max Crocome was brilliant, for his first league two game he had a good start and was more convincing than Brown has been over the past few games. All in all we looked the better side, we were unfortunate to let one past us but it was sloppy even though Batt had three men on him alone before they put it into the net. Feels like we lost out on two points but a better looking game overall than last Saturday. Keep the faith, let's see three points from Southend away this weekend. COYY PT1
  • Score: 0

10:28am Wed 30 Jan 13

martico1 says...

Good post PT1 - says it all. Especially re Craddock - whenever will he really apply himself and at least show half of Constable's commitment? As it is since he misses the chances that DO come his way, he's a luxury.

On another matter: good to see IL has another Fans Forum planned. On all previous occasons his openness and honesty, epecially over the numbers nd his own investment, has been totally refreshing. Trust his critics will be there to hear him tell it like it is
Good post PT1 - says it all. Especially re Craddock - whenever will he really apply himself and at least show half of Constable's commitment? As it is since he misses the chances that DO come his way, he's a luxury. On another matter: good to see IL has another Fans Forum planned. On all previous occasons his openness and honesty, epecially over the numbers nd his own investment, has been totally refreshing. Trust his critics will be there to hear him tell it like it is martico1
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Wed 30 Jan 13

oldun says...

"Tell it like it is" - each time I hear that said the cynic comes out . Some choose to believe and others don't. I have no reason to doubt his honesty. He is not just charm and full of business acumen. I do so hope that he is frank - no doubt he will be honest in his responses. Those responses also need to be frank and to be as open/full as they can be.
"Tell it like it is" - each time I hear that said the cynic comes out . Some choose to believe and others don't. I have no reason to doubt his honesty. He is not just charm and full of business acumen. I do so hope that he is frank - no doubt he will be honest in his responses. Those responses also need to be frank and to be as open/full as they can be. oldun
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Wed 30 Jan 13

BartSimpson_ox says...

Wilder out, if we want promotion, Wilder in if you want mediocre football and mid table finishes.
Wilder out, if we want promotion, Wilder in if you want mediocre football and mid table finishes. BartSimpson_ox
  • Score: 0

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