Patched-up Oxford United defy the odds

The Oxford Times: A delighted Chris Wilder leaves the pitch as Oxford celebrate their win over Gateshead A delighted Chris Wilder leaves the pitch as Oxford celebrate their win over Gateshead

Mickey Lewis hailed “an amazing night” as Oxford United overcame extraordinary selection problems to beat Gateshead after extra time in the FA Cup last night.

Deane Smalley’s 116th-minute penalty was the only goal of a freezing night where the U’s had to change their game plan countless times.

Centre backs Michael Raynes (hip) and Johnny Mullins (knee) were ruled out before kick-off, so the visitors were forced to field a completely unfamiliar back four.

Full backs David Hunt and Tom Newey switched into the middle, while David Lynn and Matt Bevans came in for their senior debuts.

The threadbare squad was diminished even further as Danny Rose and Dave Kitson were forced off with minor problems, leaving the visitors fielding a patched-up youthful team in extra time, with players doing jobs in unaccustomed roles.

Lewis praised the way United handled the adversity.

“It was an amazing night, we are really proud of the boys,” the assistant manager said.

“It was a bit non-stop in the second half and extra time with people having to come off, but I think the manager and the staff are always alert.

“It seemed like so many things were going against us.

“Danny Rose and Kits came off and it was an unbelievably young side out there at the end.

“The character of the players is summed up by Tom Newey and David Hunt – they are both experienced, but were doing a great job at centre half when they are full backs.”

The build-up to the game was overshadowed by manager Chris Wilder’s interview for the vacant Portsmouth job.

He was not available to speak after the game and although Lewis did not want to comment on the situation, he felt the result showed it had not affected the players.

“We have said it before the players are very focused in training and they just don’t seem to know when they are beaten,” he said.

“The club have made a statement a couple of days ago and it’s just between the manager and the chairman.

“We have no say in that really – we have a lot of games coming up so we will just worry about that.”

Smalley was thrilled to grab his seventh goal of the season, but singled out the young players for special attention.

He said: “There are six or seven first-team players out and it just shows what we’re about as a club with all the youngsters coming in and they have done themselves proud.

“In the end I was playing in centre midfield, it’s full credit to the players, the manager, the staff, everyone around the club. It just shows how versatile we all are.”

l Match report: Pages 62-63

Comments (9)

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10:06am Fri 6 Dec 13

northampton yellow says...

well done lads its not about the possession, but its only goals that count but do need some players back for Monday thou but we did it will a youthful side last night no reason why we cannot do it again on Monday night these sort of games are alright to play some development players its a good learning curve for them ROLL ON MONDAY OUFC
well done lads its not about the possession, but its only goals that count but do need some players back for Monday thou but we did it will a youthful side last night no reason why we cannot do it again on Monday night these sort of games are alright to play some development players its a good learning curve for them ROLL ON MONDAY OUFC northampton yellow
  • Score: 9

10:08am Fri 6 Dec 13

Brenda Jackson says...

Definitely not pretty, but a pretty good result- in the circumstances. Who will be managing the team at Wrexham on Tuesday? The bookies seem to be making Barker favourite, with CW drifting out of the betting as to who will be pompeys new manager.
I sense discord between oufc Chairman and manager, and even if wilder fails to land the pompey job- others will have been alerted to the situation.
Definitely not pretty, but a pretty good result- in the circumstances. Who will be managing the team at Wrexham on Tuesday? The bookies seem to be making Barker favourite, with CW drifting out of the betting as to who will be pompeys new manager. I sense discord between oufc Chairman and manager, and even if wilder fails to land the pompey job- others will have been alerted to the situation. Brenda Jackson
  • Score: -9

10:11am Fri 6 Dec 13

smgpa03 says...

Really good effort. We were a bit lucky but the result was everything - next round and more cash ! And perhaps more importantly, it was a mark of the resilience that CW and IL are building around the club and team. In the past, we would have caved-in.
Really good effort. We were a bit lucky but the result was everything - next round and more cash ! And perhaps more importantly, it was a mark of the resilience that CW and IL are building around the club and team. In the past, we would have caved-in. smgpa03
  • Score: 13

10:40am Fri 6 Dec 13

oldun says...

Amazing that Gateshead did not score at least 3 - super passing football by the home team,

It is hard to judge their underused keeper and centre backs - but if the best eleven was picked from last night's players it is hard to see any United player being the clear choice to gain a spot.

Surely, we will play much better at Wrexham - particularly in midfield - James Constable was given virtually no chance to score
Amazing that Gateshead did not score at least 3 - super passing football by the home team, It is hard to judge their underused keeper and centre backs - but if the best eleven was picked from last night's players it is hard to see any United player being the clear choice to gain a spot. Surely, we will play much better at Wrexham - particularly in midfield - James Constable was given virtually no chance to score oldun
  • Score: -7

11:10am Fri 6 Dec 13

wayoutwest says...

A good result considering the options available. Thought the young lads brought in held their own against a very useful conference team, Lynn started well under a heavy onslaught down his side of the pitch and Bevans improved as the game went on. Will be good experience for them and stand them in good stead for the future. Well done also to Hunt and Newey for performing unfamiliar roles to a creditable standard. Bit disappointed in some of the other "senior" players, didn't see enough of Rose and with Kitson and Constable particularly ineffective - it could be said that they weren't getting much service but sometimes you have to go looking for the ball a bit more, think the big Gateshead centre half could've been rushed into an error if he'd been pressed more when on the ball. Still all in all a very good result particularly with this weeks distractions. COYY
A good result considering the options available. Thought the young lads brought in held their own against a very useful conference team, Lynn started well under a heavy onslaught down his side of the pitch and Bevans improved as the game went on. Will be good experience for them and stand them in good stead for the future. Well done also to Hunt and Newey for performing unfamiliar roles to a creditable standard. Bit disappointed in some of the other "senior" players, didn't see enough of Rose and with Kitson and Constable particularly ineffective - it could be said that they weren't getting much service but sometimes you have to go looking for the ball a bit more, think the big Gateshead centre half could've been rushed into an error if he'd been pressed more when on the ball. Still all in all a very good result particularly with this weeks distractions. COYY wayoutwest
  • Score: 7

2:23pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Manor Born says...

The team showed tremendous spirit and heart to grind out a result. The squad has been decimated by injuries and its good to see the youngster stepping up to the plate and showing they are more than capable of filling the gaps.

It is not ideal we are having to play so many at the same time, but it is certainly encouraging for the future.

Yes it wasn't pretty and Gateshead out-played us for much of the game, but there is only one statistic that counts and that's goals scored. The records books will show that we won 1-0 and are through to the next round. By the time we'll play our second round tie, we'll know who we could be potentially be facing in the third round should we get past Wrexham.

I keep hearing that at some point our "luck will run out". Is it down to luck? Or is it down to hard work, the players putting a shift in and the manager getting his tactics right? You make your own luck in this game. And I am proud of that team and management.

Everyone says they want players who want to play for OUFC, who will bust a gut for the cause and wear the shirt with pride. Well right here, right now, we have exactly that. TIme for everyone to get behind the team and the manager and give them the support they deserve.
The team showed tremendous spirit and heart to grind out a result. The squad has been decimated by injuries and its good to see the youngster stepping up to the plate and showing they are more than capable of filling the gaps. It is not ideal we are having to play so many at the same time, but it is certainly encouraging for the future. Yes it wasn't pretty and Gateshead out-played us for much of the game, but there is only one statistic that counts and that's goals scored. The records books will show that we won 1-0 and are through to the next round. By the time we'll play our second round tie, we'll know who we could be potentially be facing in the third round should we get past Wrexham. I keep hearing that at some point our "luck will run out". Is it down to luck? Or is it down to hard work, the players putting a shift in and the manager getting his tactics right? You make your own luck in this game. And I am proud of that team and management. Everyone says they want players who want to play for OUFC, who will bust a gut for the cause and wear the shirt with pride. Well right here, right now, we have exactly that. TIme for everyone to get behind the team and the manager and give them the support they deserve. Manor Born
  • Score: 9

2:49pm Fri 6 Dec 13

CHINNOR YELLOWS says...

That can only be good for the club, 5 young players who gave their all. Bring on Wrexham COYY
That can only be good for the club, 5 young players who gave their all. Bring on Wrexham COYY CHINNOR YELLOWS
  • Score: 4

5:52pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Richard Wickson says...

Manor Born wrote:
The team showed tremendous spirit and heart to grind out a result. The squad has been decimated by injuries and its good to see the youngster stepping up to the plate and showing they are more than capable of filling the gaps.

It is not ideal we are having to play so many at the same time, but it is certainly encouraging for the future.

Yes it wasn't pretty and Gateshead out-played us for much of the game, but there is only one statistic that counts and that's goals scored. The records books will show that we won 1-0 and are through to the next round. By the time we'll play our second round tie, we'll know who we could be potentially be facing in the third round should we get past Wrexham.

I keep hearing that at some point our "luck will run out". Is it down to luck? Or is it down to hard work, the players putting a shift in and the manager getting his tactics right? You make your own luck in this game. And I am proud of that team and management.

Everyone says they want players who want to play for OUFC, who will bust a gut for the cause and wear the shirt with pride. Well right here, right now, we have exactly that. TIme for everyone to get behind the team and the manager and give them the support they deserve.
Spot on Manor Born, particularly your last paragraph, for some time I have been one of those calling for pride and passion in equal measure and we now have a squad delivering it. The forwards were well held and kept very quiet but the new lads and Hunt and Newey did a sound job. How Gateshead didn't win is beyond me but full credit to the 14 who played for OU, they bent but never broke, Gateshead will play worse and win, it was just one of those nights and being OU supporters we have seen our own side batter other sides only to lose many times over the years. Let's hope that we have a team to put out on Monday night at Wrexham whoever the Manager might be, although it looks as if Wilder will still be here! At the moment we have a Manager, back room staff and players who are making us proud, long may it continue!
[quote][p][bold]Manor Born[/bold] wrote: The team showed tremendous spirit and heart to grind out a result. The squad has been decimated by injuries and its good to see the youngster stepping up to the plate and showing they are more than capable of filling the gaps. It is not ideal we are having to play so many at the same time, but it is certainly encouraging for the future. Yes it wasn't pretty and Gateshead out-played us for much of the game, but there is only one statistic that counts and that's goals scored. The records books will show that we won 1-0 and are through to the next round. By the time we'll play our second round tie, we'll know who we could be potentially be facing in the third round should we get past Wrexham. I keep hearing that at some point our "luck will run out". Is it down to luck? Or is it down to hard work, the players putting a shift in and the manager getting his tactics right? You make your own luck in this game. And I am proud of that team and management. Everyone says they want players who want to play for OUFC, who will bust a gut for the cause and wear the shirt with pride. Well right here, right now, we have exactly that. TIme for everyone to get behind the team and the manager and give them the support they deserve.[/p][/quote]Spot on Manor Born, particularly your last paragraph, for some time I have been one of those calling for pride and passion in equal measure and we now have a squad delivering it. The forwards were well held and kept very quiet but the new lads and Hunt and Newey did a sound job. How Gateshead didn't win is beyond me but full credit to the 14 who played for OU, they bent but never broke, Gateshead will play worse and win, it was just one of those nights and being OU supporters we have seen our own side batter other sides only to lose many times over the years. Let's hope that we have a team to put out on Monday night at Wrexham whoever the Manager might be, although it looks as if Wilder will still be here! At the moment we have a Manager, back room staff and players who are making us proud, long may it continue! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 5

10:41am Sat 7 Dec 13

bigchet says...

rode our luck a bit to progress but we deserve a bit of luck with the way the injuries are occurring. hope we will have a couple back for wrexham but massive credit to all the players at gateshead and to the supporters that made that five hour trek there in bad conditions, they should be proud of themselves.
rode our luck a bit to progress but we deserve a bit of luck with the way the injuries are occurring. hope we will have a couple back for wrexham but massive credit to all the players at gateshead and to the supporters that made that five hour trek there in bad conditions, they should be proud of themselves. bigchet
  • Score: 0

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