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Oxford United 0, Bournemouth 0 (aet, Oxford win 5-3 on penalties)
OXFORD United got the football season off to a flying start as they knocked npower League One side Bournemouth out of the Capital One Cup on penalties.
There was nothing to separate the sides during two hours of football at the Kassam Stadium , sending the first round tie to a shootout.
United held their nerve superbly, with all five takers converting from 12 yards.
Marc Pugh, the Cherries’ stand-out player on the night, was the only player to fail as goalkeeper Ryan Clarke dived to his left to save.
Damian Batt stepped up to take the decisive penalty and the full back found the net to the delight of the home fans, booking a place in round two.
There were no surprises in Chris Wilder ’s first selection of the season, with Adam Chapman getting the nod over Simon Heslop in midfield.
Bournemouth arrived as marginal favourites and the npower League One side quickly seized the initiative.
A rash challenge from Chapman gave the Cherries an early set piece in a threatening area. Pugh whipped in the free kick and Wes Thomas rose to head over.
Pugh had three further efforts in the opening six minutes, but goalkeeper Clarke dealt with the danger.
Michael Raynes, one of four debutants in United’s XI, picked up a booking on 15 minutes, but gradually the hosts established themselves in the game.
It took almost half an hour to carve out a shooting chance, when the lively Alfie Potter picked out Batt, whose low shot was smartly saved by Shwan Jalal.
It began a good spell for the U’s up to half time and their best moment came just before the break.
Batt’s through ball was flicked on by James Constable for Chapman, who drove forward and fizzed a 20-yard shot which Jalal parried.
The rebound fell to Sean Rigg and the winger immediately tested the Cherries stopper again.
Bournemouth remained a threat on the break, with the U’s midfield three caught out all pushing forward on more than one occasion.
The visitors began the second half almost as brightly as they had the first, but they failed to test Clarke.
Both sides made changes just after the hour mark. United’s saw them switch from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1 as Deane Smalley replaced Lee Cox.
The substitute had a strong claim for a penalty with virtually his first touch – going past Charlie Daniels before hitting the turf - but the referee was unmoved.
The game continued on a knife edge and as the game wore on it became clear one goal would probably be enough to go through.
Pugh came close to a breakthrough five minutes from time, whipping a shot just over Clarke’s crossbar.
Chapman almost conjured a winner in stoppage time with a swerving free kick which Jalal tipped over.
Extra time was hardly ideal for bodies still not 100 per cent match fit and tiredness began to show for both sides.
Clarke fumbled a cross straight to Thomas, but reacted quickly enough to block the striker’s effort, while on the stroke of half-time Craddock shot inches wide from a well-worked free kick.
The only talking point of the second half came when Wright, who had been booked in the second half, was caught in possession and pulled back Thomas. As the last man a second yellow looked inevitable, but the referee only awarded a free kick.
United blocked Pugh’s set piece and the game drifted into a penalty shootout.
When it came the hosts did not falter, scoring all their spot kicks, while Clarke’s save from Pugh proved the difference.
- One fan has produced a hilarious 1920s-style video of the shoot-out. Watch it here