Match Details: 29/08/2015
Oxford United 2-0 Yeovil Town
Skybet League Two
Yeovil Line-Up: 1. Artur Krysiak, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Dolan, 5. Stephen Arthurworrey, 6. Jakub Sokolík, 9. Ryan Bird, 14. Jack Compton, 21. Alex Lacey, 23. Harry Cornick, 24. Connor Roberts, 25. Josh Wakefield,
Subs: 10. Shaun Jeffers, 12. Chris Weale, 15. Jordan Gibbons, 19. Iffy Allen, 22. Mark Beck, 28. David Norris
Substitutes Used: David Norris for Alex Lacey (34 mins), Mark Beck for Jack Compton (66 mins), Shaun Jeffers for Ryan Bird (66 mins)
Bookings: Nathan Smith (Foul, 41), Connor Roberts (Foul, 67), Stephen Arthurworrey (Foul, 86)
Yeovil Town were deservedly beaten at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon, as Oxford United won 2-0 in a one-sided encounter. The early league form has seen both sides follow very different paths, with Oxford unbeaten in League Two and Yeovil only having won once, and that trend continued as an early Danny Hylton header set the home side on their way. Callum O'Dowda's finish fifteen minutes from time was little more than Oxford deserved, with them also hitting the crossbar through Kemar Roofe, leaving Yeovil stuck in 21st place, whilst their opponents continue to occupy the play-off spots.
Yeovil went into the match making just one change to their starting line-up. The goalscoring hero of last week, Ryan Bird, was preferred up front for Shaun Jeffers but otherwise the basic 4-3-3 formation was maintained. On the bench, Jordan Gibbons got a place on the bench due to minor injuries to Omar Sowumni and Jamie Burrows that meant they stayed out of the squad. With the club's numerous long term injuries of Ben Tozer (cartilege), Kevin Dawson (groin), Simon Gillett (knee), Ryan Dickson (groin), Marc Laird (torn hamstring) and Wes Fogden (broken fingers) still not back, that meant six players sat on the bench.
The opening goal came after a spell of strong pressure from the home side, with Yeovil's inability to clear their lines being punished. A half-clearance was put back into the box by Alex MacDonald and Callum O'Dowda put the ball back across for Danny Hylton to have an easy finish, with plenty of other Oxford players queued up inside the box even if the striker hadn't converted his chance. With Stephen Arthurworrey having cleared the ball off his goal line earlier after Kemar Roof picked up a loose ball from an Artur Krysiak save, this was not an impressive start by the Glovers.
The pattern continued with misplaced passes and an inability to get forward behind Yeovil's troubles. Ryan Bird looked isolated, with the 4-3-3 formation tending to be more of a 4-5-1 in practice. It was therefore not too surprising to find a tactical substitution taking place just 35 minutes into the match, with David Norris being introduced for Alex Lacey, and a 4-4-2 formation being deployed as Norris went out wide, and Harry Cornick went up front to join Bird. That stabilised things a little and gave Oxford something to think about, with Cornick's strong run and slightly scuffed shot at least bringing some hope as the half closed.
The second period got off to a quiet start, with Oxford happy to calm the game down, but with Yeovil showing very little signs of getting back into it. On the hour mark, Kemar Roofe forced Artur Krysiak to parry the ball away as the home side gradually began to show their authority. Then former Exeter City midfielder Liam Sercombe chipped the ball just wide of the target. With the game tending to quietly drift away, Shaun Jeffers and Mark Beck were introduced as a double substitution, with Ryan Bird and Jack Compton making way, but Yeovil still couldn't get out of second gear to put the home side under serious pressure.
Comical moment of the second half came when referee Kevin Johnson got a bit over-dramatic with his attempts to book Connor Roberts for a foul, with his yellow card flying out of his hand, rather than being calmly raised. Oxford's Danny Hylton dutifully picked up the card for the official, raising the yellow towards Roberts on behalf of the referee. But that was about as amusing as the game got - Oxford got their second of the match with Hylton turning creator, carving open the middle after Yeovil lost possession, and then intelligently laying the ball off for Callum O'Dowda who calmly finished for a 2-0 lead.
And that was pretty much it. Yeovil's only chance of an inert second half came when Shaun Jeffers headed wide a Jakub Sokolik cross. At the other end, the home side were far more menacing - Artur Krysiak had to save again from Kemar Roofe, and then had a bit of luck as a Roofe effort from 25 yards beat the goalkeeper, but thankfully came off the top of the crossbar and away. During injury time, Krysiak saved again from substitute Pat Hoban, with Oxford so comfortable they were able to withdraw three of their star performers during the closing stages and still look the part as the minutes ticked out. For Yeovil, bar a brief spell after David Norris came on, they never got going and deservedly came home with nothing.
Link: 2015-16 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Oxford United 2 Yeovil Town 0.
Scorers: Danny Hylton (1-0, 14 mins), Callum O'Dowda (2-0, 75 mins)
1. Artur Krysiak
24. Connor Roberts 5. Stephen Arthurworrey 6. Jakub Sokolik 3. Nathan Smith (Captain)
25. Josh Wakefield 21. Alex Lacey 4. Matt Dolan
23. Harry Cornick 9. Ryan Bird 14. Jack Compton
12. Chris Weale 10. Shaun Jeffers (66 mins for Ryan Bird) 15. Jordan Gibbons 19. Iffy Allen 22. Mark Beck (66 mins for Jack Compton) 28. David Norris (34 mins for Alex Lacey)
1. Sam Slocombe 2. George Baldock 5. Johnny Mullins 6. Jake Wright 3. Joe Skarz 4. Kemar Roofe 8. Liam Sercombe 7. Danny Rose 11. Alex MacDonald 15. Callum O'Dowda 10. Danny Hylton
9. Pat Hoban (88 mins for Kemar Roofe) 14. Josh Ruffels (83 mins for Callum O'Dowda) 18. John Lundstram 20. Ryan Taylor (83 mins for Danny Hylton) 21. Max Crocombe 31. James Roberts 33. Cheyenne Dunkley
Oxford Bookings: Joe Skarz (foul, 64 mins)
Yeovil Bookings: Nathan Smith (foul, 41 mins), Connor Robers (foul, 67 mins), Stephen Arthurworrey (foul, 86 mins)
Oxford Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 15; Shots On Target: 8; Corners: 5; Fouls: 8.
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 3; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 2; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset). Assistants: Richard Kendall (Bedfordshire) and Matt Corlett (Liverpool). Fourth Official: David Avent (Northamptonshire).
Attendance: 6,018 (with 437 Yeovil supporters).