Ap­ple­ton an­gry at be­low-par Yel­lows

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP - By Mike Glendin­ning

OX­FORD United are in the draw for the third round – but only by the skin of their teeth, and Michael Ap­ple­ton pulled no punches in his as­sess­ment of the U’s poor show­ing.

He had en­dured a nerve-jan­gling evening as his side laboured to a score­less draw against a Mac­cles­field side itch­ing to claim an­other League One scalp, hav­ing won at Wal­sall in the first round.

And al­though they needed a smart save by Si­mon East­wood to deny Mac­cles­field’s Paul Lewis and Jack Mack­reth hit the post in a late siege by the Silk­men, Ox­ford boss Ap­ple­ton will be re­lieved to have a chance to make amends in a re­play.

“I think of a few of our younger play­ers were a lit­tle bit shell-shocked at half time be­cause of the spirit and the qual­ity at times that Mac­cles­field showed in the first half,” he said. “They got af­ter us early doors and made it very, very dif­fi­cult.

“There’s a lot of qual­ity in the Na­tional League but don’t get me wrong, we were very, very, very, poor.

“I am not stupid enough to think any dif­fer­ent. I would like to see us play bet­ter in the re­play.

“And I’ve got to pick a bet­ter team in terms of the right per­son­nel.”

Spurred on by the TV cam­eras at an un­usu­ally buoy­ant and bulging Moss Rose, Mac­cles­field had dom­i­nated the first half but way­ward fin­ish­ing – and goal­keeper East­wood’s save from his own de­fender Chey Dunk­ley – de­nied them a lead at half-time.

Ox­ford im­proved af­ter the in­ter­val and Dunk­ley crashed a header against the wood­work, while Craig Ross turned Tyler Roberts’ shot to safety.

But it was the nonleague side mak­ing all the run­ning.

Ox­ford’s name will be in the vel­vet bag though, and mid­fielder Alex MacDonald summed up the re­lief in the U’s camp.

“We know it wasn’t good enough,” he said.

“Play­ing as badly as we did, we have got our­selves into the third round draw, so over­all it is a re­lief. “We were sec­ond best all over the park, but the main thing is we have an op­por­tu­nity to put it right when they come to our place.”

And Mac­cles­field boss John Askey knows their op­po­nents will come out with all guns blaz­ing in the re­play.

“It will be very dif­fi­cult,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously they’ll be a dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion at home and they’ll go away think­ing they’ve got out of jail a lit­tle bit and try­ing to prove a point.

“Hope­fully we can match them and then you never know.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.