Oxford Utd 0, York City 1 (Coulson pen 47)

Herald Series: Michael Raynes twice went close for Oxford late on Michael Raynes twice went close for Oxford late on

OXFORD United's play-off fate is no longer in their hands after they were leapfrogged by York City, who won the Good Friday meeting between the sides at the Kassam Stadium.

Michael Coulson's penalty early in the second half proved the difference as United were unable to hit the heights they had reached in victory at Plymouth Argyle last weekend.

Referee Oliver Langford did not see the infringement in the box, but his assistant flagged for the spot kick after the ball hit Josh Ruffels's knee and struck Dave Kitson on the arm.

It was a controversial decision but United, who had shaded the first half, struggled to create clear chances all afternoon against a mean defence.

Ryan Williams fired one shot wide when well placed, while Michael Raynes was off-target with two late chances as they slipped to a damaging defeat.

As expected, Gary Waddock stuck with the same side which began the 2-0 win at Plymouth in their previous outing.

It was the first time the U's had named an unchanged side since the reverse fixture against York, in December.

The confidence generated from the win in Devon could be seen in a bright start from the home side.

In the fifth minute, James Constable barged a dawdling Lanre Oyebanjo off the ball down by the corner flag, which was sent flying.

The ball was pulled back to Dave Kitson in space and his shot was deflected over.

Callum O'Dowda, making his first league start at home, also picked up where he left off at Home Park.

He was quickly involved in another promising move, which saw the winger pick out Nicky Wroe. The ball was swiftly moved on to Williams, but he delayed long enough to allow York's defence to smother the chance.

The visitors came into the game on a 13-game unbeaten run and they quickly readjusted to tighten up the contest.

At one stage the best exchanges took place between the two sets of fans.

When City's following made themselves heard, United's support responded with chants of "Wembley", in reference to their Conference play-off win against the Minstermen in 2010.

The visitors' attacking moments were few and far between.

One chance came when Kitson was dispossessed in the centre circle. Despite the veteran's protests for a foul, referee Langford waved play on and a dangerous break was only halted when David Hunt scrambled to concede a corner.

Their best chance fell to Will Hayhurst, who found himself in space after a well-worked move on the half hour mark. The midfielder looked poised to bury a finish ten yards out, but Jake Wright appeared from nowhere to make a brilliant challenge.

Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested before the break.

Highly-rated youngster Nick Pope, had one edgy moment when he fumbled a corner from Josh Ruffels, but fortunately for the City stopper it fell to a red shirt, who cleared.

Constable was kept relatively quiet in his quest to equal the club's scoring record.

The striker only had one effort of note before the break, heading a difficult chance wide from an O'Dowda cross.

United had work to do at the break and the difficulty of their task multiplied when they fell behind two minutes after the restart.

A corner fired into the near post was turned behind by a combination of Kitson and Ruffels, but although the referee awarded another set piece, his assistant flagged for a handball.

Coulson's penalty was assured and although Ryan Clarke guessed correctly, the ball found the corner of the net.

United quickly went in search of an equaliser.

Kitson and Newey had headers scrambled clear from set pieces, while a defensive mistake gifted a chance to Williams in the 56th minute.

Ben Davies hit a clearance into a teammate, which fell to the Australian, but after steadying himself the resulting shot was dragged wide.

It was a rare error from City, whose well-drilled side made life difficult for their hosts.

United were unable to play at the same tempo as they had at Plymouth and as a result did not carry the same threat.

York almost doubled their lead 18 minutes from time, when Hunt cleared a corner off the line.

Alfie Potter and David Connolly were thrown on from the bench in an effort to find a breakthrough in the closing stages.

Constable did have the ball in the net four minutes from time, but the striker was penalised for a handball.

There was still time for two clear chances, which both fell to Raynes.

The centre back blasted the first over after good work from Kitson and Connolly.

He made better contact with the next, but saw a firm header fly just wide as United slipped to what could be a hugely costly defeat.

Oxford Utd (4-2-3-1): Clarke, Hunt, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Wroe, Ruffels, Williams, Kitson, O'Dowda, Constable.

Subs used: Potter (Williams 68), Connolly (O'Dowda 74)

Unused subs: Crocombe, Long, Rose, Davies, Whing.

Booked: Wroe

York (4-4-2): Pope, Oyebanjo, McCombe, Lowe, Davies, Hayhurst (Puri 84), Reed (Montrose 88), Penn, Brobbel, Coulson, Andrew (Bowman 90).

Unused subs: Ingham, Jarvis, Platt, Allan.

Booked: Andrew, Coulson, Reed

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands).

Attendance: 7,118 (781 visitors).

Comments (17)

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5:06pm Fri 18 Apr 14

London_Ox says...

Nice one boys.. Out of the four games coming up, this was a six pointer if ever there was one.. And to let York come to our back yard and take the 3 points.. dear oh dear..

Ive said this before, we need a much better midfield and also everybody to contribute with goals throughout the team so if the strikers are having an off day somebody else will pitch in.. the non strikers getting the old goal or two a season is simply not good enough..

Can i see us winning our remaining games and getting into the play offs now.. Not a chance.. miracle needed now..
Nice one boys.. Out of the four games coming up, this was a six pointer if ever there was one.. And to let York come to our back yard and take the 3 points.. dear oh dear.. Ive said this before, we need a much better midfield and also everybody to contribute with goals throughout the team so if the strikers are having an off day somebody else will pitch in.. the non strikers getting the old goal or two a season is simply not good enough.. Can i see us winning our remaining games and getting into the play offs now.. Not a chance.. miracle needed now.. London_Ox
  • Score: 30

6:16pm Fri 18 Apr 14

BigAlBiker says...

London_ox is right! like him I have been saying all season we have no midfield, no pace and little skill.

One way or the other we have to do something, over 7000 fans and we were treated to this rubbish.
London_ox is right! like him I have been saying all season we have no midfield, no pace and little skill. One way or the other we have to do something, over 7000 fans and we were treated to this rubbish. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 19

6:58pm Fri 18 Apr 14

South Upper 87 says...

Well that looks like it for yet another year. You cannot blame (get me out of here at any cost) Wilder, at least he kept us up there with boring football. You cannot blame the players too much, many are less than division two standard, so could only play to their abilities. You cannot blame Mick Brown...no c**k ups this year on the fax machine. You certainly cannot blame GW, he knows he has inherited a very poor squad. So I am afraid that leaves the chairman, he may be putting money into the club. But to take eight weeks to appont a manager, when Lewis was clearly not up to the job was I'm afraid criminal.
Well that looks like it for yet another year. You cannot blame (get me out of here at any cost) Wilder, at least he kept us up there with boring football. You cannot blame the players too much, many are less than division two standard, so could only play to their abilities. You cannot blame Mick Brown...no c**k ups this year on the fax machine. You certainly cannot blame GW, he knows he has inherited a very poor squad. So I am afraid that leaves the chairman, he may be putting money into the club. But to take eight weeks to appont a manager, when Lewis was clearly not up to the job was I'm afraid criminal. South Upper 87
  • Score: 16

7:28pm Fri 18 Apr 14

oldun says...

Why in a home game was Kitson not pushed forward?
Why in a home game was Kitson not pushed forward? oldun
  • Score: 7

7:47pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Joe1 says...

Only a few Players out there really did their best, the rest were poor. Kept giving ball away. Some did not want it & hoofed anyware. Really poor result & a poor game. We have missed the boat with this one.
Only a few Players out there really did their best, the rest were poor. Kept giving ball away. Some did not want it & hoofed anyware. Really poor result & a poor game. We have missed the boat with this one. Joe1
  • Score: 7

7:48pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Beau champ mummy says...

Just back from game utter rubbish yet again
Just back from game utter rubbish yet again Beau champ mummy
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Fri 18 Apr 14

dorsetyellows says...

We'll the lads have cancelled the mini bus to Scunthorpe, that's how today's
Performance has **** off enough of us . Positives from today O'dowda
looks a good prospect , good size crowd , Gary Waddock list of players to
Soon be released gets a little longer . And a question to anyone who might know the answer , why did the groundsman water the pitch? I counted at
least 5 times one of our players slip over or lost his footing .
We'll the lads have cancelled the mini bus to Scunthorpe, that's how today's Performance has **** off enough of us . Positives from today O'dowda looks a good prospect , good size crowd , Gary Waddock list of players to Soon be released gets a little longer . And a question to anyone who might know the answer , why did the groundsman water the pitch? I counted at least 5 times one of our players slip over or lost his footing . dorsetyellows
  • Score: 12

8:11pm Fri 18 Apr 14

learned says...

Why was Kitson playing so deep ??
Beano had no support up front
Why was Kitson playing so deep ?? Beano had no support up front learned
  • Score: 12

8:13pm Fri 18 Apr 14

learned says...

Why was Kitson playing so deep ?
Beano had no support up front and when we needed a good game from Ryan Williams we didn't get one.
And......both full backs are rubbish. GW must get rid of them both !
Why was Kitson playing so deep ? Beano had no support up front and when we needed a good game from Ryan Williams we didn't get one. And......both full backs are rubbish. GW must get rid of them both ! learned
  • Score: 10

8:30pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Richard Wickson says...

oldun wrote:
Why in a home game was Kitson not pushed forward?
Because he has no motivation. He is about to retire, according to someone within his family he promised his wife, before the season started, that this season would definetlley be his last.
[quote][p][bold]oldun[/bold] wrote: Why in a home game was Kitson not pushed forward?[/p][/quote]Because he has no motivation. He is about to retire, according to someone within his family he promised his wife, before the season started, that this season would definetlley be his last. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 11

8:37pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Richard Wickson says...

learned wrote:
Why was Kitson playing so deep ??
Beano had no support up front
There has been no support up front all season. Our goals scored record has again proved we are not a goal scoring side, we have a midfield not worthy of the name and we have players being played as strikers who so obviously are not, probably couldn't even spell the word let alone act like strikers, unless of course you mean the Arthur Scargill type of striker, then they, particularly Kitson play the part extremely well.
[quote][p][bold]learned[/bold] wrote: Why was Kitson playing so deep ?? Beano had no support up front[/p][/quote]There has been no support up front all season. Our goals scored record has again proved we are not a goal scoring side, we have a midfield not worthy of the name and we have players being played as strikers who so obviously are not, probably couldn't even spell the word let alone act like strikers, unless of course you mean the Arthur Scargill type of striker, then they, particularly Kitson play the part extremely well. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 6

11:36pm Fri 18 Apr 14

YellowLAD says...

I feel sorry for our back five at times because generally speaking we defend well as a team. They were really good again today IMO but we just don't give them any help with our complete impotence up front. Yes we lack creativity in midfield but when you have strikers who play with their back to goal for 90mins and have no desire to get in behind the opposition defence or to turn them round and stretch the play. All of our play was in front of their back four today and we caused them very few problems. Like others have said, why is Kitson playing so far down the pitch? I thought he looked classy today, didn't give the ball away once but by playing so deep he completely negates the quality he has got. How good would it be to see him lay little balls off and play slide rules passes 20 yards higher up the pitch. I don't think we necessarily need to make wholesale changes next season but we certainly need more options/better options at the top end of the pitch as well as that little bit of imagination in midfield.
I feel sorry for our back five at times because generally speaking we defend well as a team. They were really good again today IMO but we just don't give them any help with our complete impotence up front. Yes we lack creativity in midfield but when you have strikers who play with their back to goal for 90mins and have no desire to get in behind the opposition defence or to turn them round and stretch the play. All of our play was in front of their back four today and we caused them very few problems. Like others have said, why is Kitson playing so far down the pitch? I thought he looked classy today, didn't give the ball away once but by playing so deep he completely negates the quality he has got. How good would it be to see him lay little balls off and play slide rules passes 20 yards higher up the pitch. I don't think we necessarily need to make wholesale changes next season but we certainly need more options/better options at the top end of the pitch as well as that little bit of imagination in midfield. YellowLAD
  • Score: 4

12:35am Sat 19 Apr 14

87oufc says...

YellowLAD wrote:
I feel sorry for our back five at times because generally speaking we defend well as a team. They were really good again today IMO but we just don't give them any help with our complete impotence up front. Yes we lack creativity in midfield but when you have strikers who play with their back to goal for 90mins and have no desire to get in behind the opposition defence or to turn them round and stretch the play. All of our play was in front of their back four today and we caused them very few problems. Like others have said, why is Kitson playing so far down the pitch? I thought he looked classy today, didn't give the ball away once but by playing so deep he completely negates the quality he has got. How good would it be to see him lay little balls off and play slide rules passes 20 yards higher up the pitch. I don't think we necessarily need to make wholesale changes next season but we certainly need more options/better options at the top end of the pitch as well as that little bit of imagination in midfield.
That was Kitsons role, from the very start! He was never brought here as a striker. Agreed, I would also like him 20 yards further up and slot in those passes, he did the very thing against Northampton (excellent back pass) and Newport (cross to Constable) and it led to two excellently set up goals - so much so he outclassed the entire squad with a single pass or flick.
[quote][p][bold]YellowLAD[/bold] wrote: I feel sorry for our back five at times because generally speaking we defend well as a team. They were really good again today IMO but we just don't give them any help with our complete impotence up front. Yes we lack creativity in midfield but when you have strikers who play with their back to goal for 90mins and have no desire to get in behind the opposition defence or to turn them round and stretch the play. All of our play was in front of their back four today and we caused them very few problems. Like others have said, why is Kitson playing so far down the pitch? I thought he looked classy today, didn't give the ball away once but by playing so deep he completely negates the quality he has got. How good would it be to see him lay little balls off and play slide rules passes 20 yards higher up the pitch. I don't think we necessarily need to make wholesale changes next season but we certainly need more options/better options at the top end of the pitch as well as that little bit of imagination in midfield.[/p][/quote]That was Kitsons role, from the very start! He was never brought here as a striker. Agreed, I would also like him 20 yards further up and slot in those passes, he did the very thing against Northampton (excellent back pass) and Newport (cross to Constable) and it led to two excellently set up goals - so much so he outclassed the entire squad with a single pass or flick. 87oufc
  • Score: 1

7:45am Sat 19 Apr 14

Davos P says...

Listening to the game on the radio was hugely frustrating as I couldn't get to this one but it was apparent that when we went forward we weren't a real threat. Why are we so impotent at home?? What are they up to in training all week, all season? We used to have a tradition of playing exciting attacking football. Most in this team aren't fit to wear the shirt. GW needs to invest in pace, skill and strength. At the moment we have mostly cumbersome and clumsy. Sorry to say it but they've been given a great opportunity (to have promotion on their CV) and have blown it over the last 10-15 games. Time to plan exit strategies for the players and time for Lenegan to learn some valuable lessons on the type of players we need to enter the market for.
Listening to the game on the radio was hugely frustrating as I couldn't get to this one but it was apparent that when we went forward we weren't a real threat. Why are we so impotent at home?? What are they up to in training all week, all season? We used to have a tradition of playing exciting attacking football. Most in this team aren't fit to wear the shirt. GW needs to invest in pace, skill and strength. At the moment we have mostly cumbersome and clumsy. Sorry to say it but they've been given a great opportunity (to have promotion on their CV) and have blown it over the last 10-15 games. Time to plan exit strategies for the players and time for Lenegan to learn some valuable lessons on the type of players we need to enter the market for. Davos P
  • Score: 7

8:22am Sat 19 Apr 14

dovepe says...

Lightweight midfield/team.to many passes,should be taking more shots on goal.Williams is not good enough.is Marsh injured?great support big crowd as you wanted IL.Now total rebuild of team.Need some big strong lads in the team to get out of this league Me thinks!
Lightweight midfield/team.to many passes,should be taking more shots on goal.Williams is not good enough.is Marsh injured?great support big crowd as you wanted IL.Now total rebuild of team.Need some big strong lads in the team to get out of this league Me thinks! dovepe
  • Score: 1

8:44am Sat 19 Apr 14

oldun says...

Pace much more needed than strength . 442 with two out and out strikers
Pace much more needed than strength . 442 with two out and out strikers oldun
  • Score: 0

10:21am Sat 19 Apr 14

A Scroat says...

43 games gone and Constable top scorer with 10. Nobody else in double figures. It's not rocket science why we are slipping away is it?
43 games gone and Constable top scorer with 10. Nobody else in double figures. It's not rocket science why we are slipping away is it? A Scroat
  • Score: 8

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