Sub ends su­perb win­ning record

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Bam­sey

MAN­AGER Michael Ap­ple­ton claimed his side were robbed as Craig Tan­ner came off the bench to ruin Ox­ford’s hopes of cre­at­ing his­tory.

The U’s looked poised to win six straight away games – and 12 on the road in a sea­son – for the first time in the club’s his­tory.

Peter Hart­ley put through his own net to hand Ox­ford the lead only for Cur­tis Nelson to head the hosts level three min­utes later.

Ke­mar Roofe bagged his 21st goal of the sea­son to put Ox­ford back on course to set a new mile­stone.

But Tan­ner had other ideas and his 75th-minute headed en­sured the spoils were shared in the bat­tle of the pro­mo­tion hope­fuls.

Ap­ple­ton said: “We are ex­tremely un­for­tu­nate not to have won that game. We knew we would have bro­ken the record and we had enough chances to have won three or four games, let alone one.

“But we have showed what a good side we are and we need to go on an­other run now.

“We just let our­selves down with some sloppy de­fend­ing from a cou­ple of set-pieces.

“There was a good crowd, good at­mos­phere and con­sid­er­ing the con­di­tions both sides dealt with it quite well.

“This was a great ad­vert for League Two foot­ball and I hope both teams go on and get pro­mo­tion.”

Ply­mouth came fly­ing out of the traps and carved out two good op­por­tu­ni­ties in the open­ing ten min­utes. Hart­ley ghosted into the box and hit a shot that was blocked by Danny Hyl­ton for a cor­ner. Jake Jervis swung over the cor­ner and Hart­ley rose high­est with a fierce header that sailed nar­rowly over the cross­bar.

But Ox­ford took the lead from their first mean­ing­ful at­tack af­ter Hart­ley put through his own net when he tried to deal with Chris Maguire’s cor­ner.

To their credit shell­shocked Ply­mouth did not let the early blow dis­rupt their rhythm and Jake Jervis sup­plied the per­fect cor­ner for Nelson to plant a header past Sam Slo­combe.

The hosts came close to turn­ing the game on its head af­ter Gregg Wylde out­stripped Chey Dunk­ley and forced Slo­combe into two smart saves in quick suc­ces­sion.

But Ox­ford re­claimed their lead on 35 min­utes af­ter seiz­ing on Kelvin Mel­lor’s mis­take.

Jor­dan Bow­ery cut in from the left and fed Roofe, who pro­duced a sump­tu­ous fin­ish for his se­cond goal in two games.

Ar­gyle boss Derek Adams was forced into a reshuf­fle at the break with Tan­ner com­ing on for the in­jured Hart­ley, while ref­eree James Ad­cock was re­placed by Brett Huxtable af­ter suf­fer­ing a calf in­jury.

Ar­gyle started the se­cond half well and were des­per­ately un­lucky not to plun­der an in­stant equaliser.

Jervis sup­plied a sump­tu­ous cross for Reid to rat­tle the cross­bar with a thun­der­ous header and the striker’s re­bound was head­ing in un­til Kenny blocked on the line.

Ply­mouth rarely looked like get­ting back into it un­til Gra­han Carey’s cor­ner was headed home by Tan­ner.

The vis­i­tors could also have nicked in but Slo­combe pushed Carey’s free­kick over the bar. Mo­ments later Ox­ford broke and Hyl­ton was left hold­ing his head in his hands as his close-range ef­fort rat­tled the bar.

Pil­grims boss Derek Adams said: “It was a very good foot­ball match to watch with both sides try­ing to win the game. It was end to end, both sides hit the bar and there were chances for both sides. From my point of view I think a draw was fair.

“All in all I am a very proud man­ager and I said that to them af­ter the game. They showed their fight­ing spirit.

“I thought this was a ter­rific per­for­mance by us be­cause Ox­ford were bang at it, and at full strength.

“From our point of view we were de­pleted and I think we showed how good a squad we have got.”

PIC­TURES: Gra­ham Hunt/Pro Sport

TAKE THAT: Craig Tan­ner scores the equal­is­ing goal for Ply­mouth Ar­gyle.

THAT’S TWO: Ox­ford’s Ke­mar Roofe cel­e­brates with Josh Ruf­fels af­ter scor­ing the vis­i­tor’s se­cond goal



Y Ox­ford

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