Derry’s de­lighted de­spite de­feat

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Sam Con­way

CAM­BRIDGE United boss Shaun Derry was buoyed by the per­for­mances of his new play­ers, de­spite see­ing them lose nar­rowly at pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Ox­ford United.

A first-half goal from Ryan Tay­lor proved to be the dif­fer­ence in a closely-fought con­test that saw the visi­tors de­nied agon­s­ingly by three goal-line clear­ances in the last three min­utes.

Derry had been ap­pointed man­ager ear­lier this week, tak­ing over from 60-year-old Richard Money with Cam­bridge – big spenders in the sum­mer – find­ing them­selves at the wrong end of the League Two ta­ble.

But de­spite los­ing his first game in charge, Derry took pride in the way his play­ers per­formed and be­lieves he has the tools at his dis­posal to be­gin making a dif­fer­ence as man­ager.

“I’m really proud of them and I’m proud to stand here as the Cam­bridge man­ager,” said the for­mer Notts County boss, who won just 26 of his 77 games in charge at Meadow Lane.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the team next week.

“I want to see ev­ery­one over the course of the week and I need to give ev­ery­one a fair crack of the whip.

“We showed a re­solve that I think has been ques­tioned in re­cent weeks.

“There were parts of the per­for­mance that I felt we can im­prove on, but we’ve come here and given them a real game.

“We’ve seen the best team win the game. I feel that Ox­ford will be pro­moted. They’re a real stand-out team.”

Ox­ford should have been ahead in­side two min­utes. Danny Hyl­ton’s free header from Ke­mar Roofe’s cross was met with a su­perb save by Chris Dunn.

The visi­tors re­sponded well as Ox­ford keeper Ben­jamin Buchel saved from Rory Gaffney’s header. Gaffney then turned provider for Har­ri­son Dunk, who fired wide of the goal.

Ox­ford broke the dead­lock just past the half-hour mark.

Roofe played in Alex MacDonald, who squared it for Tay­lor. The for­mer Portsmouth striker kept his nerve to slot home his third league goal of the sea­son.

Af­ter his su­perb save in the first half, Dunn nearly gifted Ox­ford a sec­ond goal just be­fore the hour mark.The ex-Northamp­ton keeper slipped un­der pres­sure from Hyl­ton, who then rounded the Dunn but hit the un­der­side of the bar.

Tay­lor then thought he had grabbed his sec­ond on 65 min­utes, but his com­posed fin­ish from Roofe’s through ball was ruled out for off­side.

Cam­bridge strug­gled in their quest for an equaliser, but striker Barry Corr was de­nied by three goal-line clear­ances in­side the fi­nal three min­utes.

Alex MacDonald, Johnny Mullins and Danny Hyl­ton all came to Ox­ford’s res­cue to deny Cam­bridge’s top scorer, as the home side held on to con­tinue their quest for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

“It was cru­cial to keep a clean sheet,” said Ox­ford man­ager Michael Ap­ple­ton, whose team are sec­ond in the League Two ta­ble, five points be­hind Plymouth Ar­gyle.“It was a bit of a nervy end, which is al­ways the case if you only score one goal.

“We cre­ated lots of chances and you’re al­ways giv­ing the op­por­tu­nity for the op­po­si­tion to get some­thing out of the game if you don’t get the sec­ond goal.

“But they didn’t panic and de­fended well.

“In the four games be­fore Ryan [Tay­lor] got his first goal, I thought his per­for­mances were spot on.

“Over the last six or seven games, I think ev­ery­one is see­ing the player they were hop­ing to see.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.