Appleton convinced U’s finally delivering
OXFORD UNITED manager Michael Appleton believes his players are beginning to play the kind of football in their new League One home that made them such a joy to watch in League Two.
Charlton captain Johnnie Jackson had opened the scoring with a controversial secondhalf penalty before Oxford hero Chris Maguire equalised shortly afterwards.
Appleton was annoyed by referee Keith Stroud’s decision, but stressed the manner of his players’ recovery was more important.
“To concede a goal to a blatant push was disappointing but the way we responded was great. Magsy (Maguire) is the one you want on the end of things when you need to finish it off,” he said.
“The players are starting to really find their feet in this division. I thought both sides were really good and it was a really good game of football.
“We knew that we’d get opportunities to counter attack by playing five in the midfield, and that’s how it panned out when we got that opportunity.
“But then you’ve got to execute it, and I thought we did that really well.”
It was a thrilling contest. Simon Eastwood was called into action on 40 minutes, smothering the ball from Ademola Lookman after the exciting 18year-old was put clean through by Chris Solly.
On 54 minutes, despite claims of a push, Phil Edwards was adjudged by Keith Stroud to have handled Lookman’s floated cross. Jackson’s calm penalty was hit right down the middle.
Oxford’s equaliser was beautifully constructed. Breaking at pace, Hemmings slid the ball to Maguire on the edge of the area who drilled his shot across goal past Rudd. Charlton boss Russell Slade was disappointed in his side’s defending for the goal, but was pleased with their performance.
Slade said: “They equalised out of the blue on the counter, which we knew would be one of their threats. We didn’t keep our balance at the back well enough.
“But we got suckered on the counter. When we go forward we have to remember what we leave behind.
“In that transition, teams can be a threat and that’s what they’ve done to us. They’ve suckered us.
“We dominated the middle of the park in periods against a team who like to do that themselves.
“If we keep performing like that there’s no doubt we can turn the draws into wins and climb up the table.”