Hyl­ton the tal­is­man as Ox­ford stroll it

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matthew Good­ing

MICHAEL Ap­ple­ton be­lieves his Ox­ford side could have had six or seven goals against a poor Cam­bridge team.

Strik­ers Ke­mar Roofe and Danny Hyl­ton hit the vis­i­tors with a dou­ble salvo in the fi­nal 15 min­utes of the first half and Ox­ford could have had more goals but for some poor fin­ish­ing and se­ries of last-ditch clear­ances from the U’s de­fend­ers.

“It was a very good per­for­mance from the play­ers. Their ap­proach play was very good and the only dis­ap­point­ment is they didn’t score more goals on the day,” said Ap­ple­ton.

“De­fen­sively, we were sound, and go­ing for­ward we opened them up many times.

“I don’t think they could have grum­bled if it was six or seven.

“Danny Hyl­ton has done well for us to­day and this sea­son. He works his socks off week in, week out.”

The first half had a dis­tinctly end-of-sea­son feel to it, with both teams safe in the bot­tom half.

There was some con­cern when Ox­ford de­fender Johnny Mullins went down fol­low­ing a clash with Cam­bridge’s Tom El­liott.

He had to be taken off by stretcher af­ter a long spell of treat­ment.

“Mullins had a lit­tle bit of con­cus­sion,” re­vealed Ap­ple­ton.

“He was knocked out in the in­ci­dent but he’s OK now. I just spoke to him in the dress­ing room and we’ll as­sess him in the com­ing days.”

Ox­ford broke the dead­lock in the 31st minute when Roofe prof­ited from good work by Hyl­ton to curl a spec­tac­u­lar first-time shot past Will Nor­ris. It was the on-loan West Brom man’s third goal in two games.

Michael Nel­son cleared a Chey Dunk­ley header off the line as Ox­ford pressed for a sec­ond just be­fore the break, but it was only a tem­po­rary re­prieve as Hyl­ton was able to head in from the re­sult­ing cor­ner. Af­ter the restart it was one-way traf­fic, with Alex Macdon­ald hav­ing a shot hooked clear from un­der the bar, be­fore strik­ing the in­side of the post. Sub­sti­tute Kyle Vas­sell was then de­nied by Nor­ris af­ter run­ning clear in the closing stages. Cam­bridge boss Richard Money, who hauled El­liott off be­fore half-time in a tac­ti­cal move, ad­mit­ted his side were sec­ond best.

And he hinted that big changes could be com­ing at the Abbey Sta­dium in the sum­mer.

“It wasn’t an easy pitch to fin­ish on and we had a lot of sit­u­a­tions where we should have done bet­ter,” he said.

“The bet­ter team won and we have one game to go .What­ever needs to be said will be said af­ter that.”

On the El­liott sub­sti­tu­tion, he added: “Cen­tre for­wards are sup­posed to run, aren’t they?”



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