APPLETON RELISHING U’S FORM
THERE will be arguments at Oxford United all week as to who scored their 90thminute winner, but manager Michael Appleton cares not a jot whose boot it went off.
Curtis Nelson drilled a low shot towards goal and it looked like Phil Edwards might have got a touch before it flew past Luke Daniels. But Appleton’s priority was the victory, and yet another lastminute home winner.
“I’ll let them argue and fight about it,” he smiled. “I was just delighted with the three points because I thought we deserved the victory.
“In the second half there was only one team that was going to win the game. I expect my side to create at least one good chance in the last few minutes of a game and take it, which we did.
“We’re at our best when we’re on the front foot and really competing. When we do that we’re difficult to beat and when we’re not we give the opposition too much respect.”
After 12 minutes of an otherwise dire first half, Neal Bishop slid a superb pass in to Paddy Madden on the left corner of the area, who curled an inch-perfect effort past Simon Eastwood into the far corner.
Six minutes after the restart, an excellent cross from the left from Joe Skarz was met first time from close range by John Lundstram, who fired low past Daniels.
The goal sent a jolt through the home side, who suddenly became dangerous. Four minutes later Lundstram nearly doubled his tally, thundering the ball against the underside of the bar from 20 yards.
As the game looked to be petering out, Oxford suddenly piled on the pressure. Daniels kept out Lundstram with a superb reaction save on 86 minutes but, four minutes later, he was powerless to prevent the winner.
Scunthorpe manager Graham Alexander questioned the validity of the winning goal but also admitted his side’s carelessness had cost them.
“I think [Edwards] was offside, but I could be wrong,” he said. “The attacking side, the home side, looks to have been given the benefit of the doubt.
“We’re not getting the big decisions at the moment and it’s hurting us. Those margins, those actions in games, are costing us at the moment. “We’re devastated to concede a goal so late. We’ve let in sloppy goals at each end of the first half and it’s something we need to improve on. “For a team as good as us, we concede too many goals and it’s something we all have to correct that if we want to be successful.”
LATE SHOW: Curtis Nelson gets a hug after scoring his injury-time winner
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