TON-UP MIKE HAS SHOCKER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Liam Cole­man

MICHAEL Ap­ple­ton’s cen­te­nary game in charge of Ox­ford United will be one he won’t want to re­mem­ber, as his side lost to a Jobi McAnuff strike.

McAnuff struck in his first start since com­ing back from in­jury, but Ori­ent fans were left with a bit­ter­sweet taste when Mathieu Baudry was shown a straight red card to make for a cagey fin­ish.

Ox­ford re­main in se­cond place de­spite a fourth home de­feat since the turn of the year.

And boss Ap­ple­ton be­lieves his side’s pro­mo­tion push re­mains firmly in their own hands, de­spite re­cent re­sults hav­ing no doubt buoyed the chas­ing pack.

“I com­pletely be­lieve that it is about what we do, and not what other teams do around us,” he said.

“And we should make sure that is the case right up un­til the last day of the sea­son.

“I think they came here with a game plan and you have to give re­spect to the op­po­si­tion when they ex­e­cute it that well.

“You never have a God-given right to win a foot­ball match, but as a man­ager you have an ex­pec­ta­tion of lev­els of en­ergy and ex­cite­ment from your play­ers which we lacked up un­til we con­ceded. It wasn’t good enough.”

Player-man­ager Kevin Nolan’s Ori­ent side are still un­beaten away from Bris­bane Road dur­ing his ten­ure.

And the Ori­ent boss felt the red card shown to Baudry was a harsh one.

“I must ad­mit I don’t think it was a red card,” he said. “We will an­a­lyse it, but I was very sur­prised when I saw the red card and it is some­thing that I hope we are go­ing to ap­peal against.

“Af­ter last week’s dis­ap­point­ment I asked the lads for a re­ac­tion and I got that and ev­ery one of them were fan­tas­tic.

“I think it was a well-de­served vic­tory.We carved out some good chances and it could have been three or four, but we’ve got to get that ruth­less­ness go­ing away from home.”

The clos­est ei­ther team came to break­ing the stale­mate in the first half was through Ori­ent de­fender Shaun Bris­ley’s close-range header on 40 min­utes, which was cleared away in a goal­mouth scram­ble.

Vis­it­ing stop­per Alex Cisak was called into ac­tion for the first time on the hour mark, div­ing to parry in-form Ke­mar Roofe’s drilled free-kick to safety.

At the other end Ar­mand Gnan­duil­let was slot­ted in by Nolan on 70 min­utes but couldn’t lift his shot over keeper Ben­jamin Buchel.

Two min­utes later a Gnan­duil­let pull-back found Sean Clo­hessy who was gifted two golden op­por­tu­ni­ties to fire Ori­ent ahead, but wasted both, fir­ing straight into a group of U’s de­fend­ers.

Clo­hessy re­deemed him­self mo­ments later though, cross­ing for the re­turn­ing McAnuff who took a touch be­fore calmly fin­ish­ing into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Liam Ser­combe saw a last-ditch drive go ag­o­nis­ingly wide as Ox­ford pushed for a late lev­eller.

And French de­fender Baudry had a mo­ment of mad­ness in stop­page time, scyth­ing through Roofe for his se­cond red card of the sea­son but O’s held firm.

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