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Ipswich Town 0-0 Oxford United - Match Report
Saturday, 13th Nov 2021 17:08

Town and Oxford drew 0-0 for the fourth time in their last five meetings at Portman Road, the Blues having come closest to scoring in the first half when Macauley Bonne and later Bersant Celina hit the same post.

Bailey Clements was handed his league debut at left-back - with neither Matt Penney or Hayden Coulson in the squad - with Janoi Donacien on the right and George Edmundson and Toto Nsiala at the centre of the defence. Christian Walton was in goal.

In midfield, skipper Sam Morsy was partnered by Lee Evans with Kyle Edwards on the left and Wes Burns on the right and Celina behind Bonne.

Kane Vincent-Young was absent from the bench with manager Paul Cook having said the right-back was touch-and-go for inclusion in the squad at yesterday’s press conference having suffered a shoulder injury on Tuesday.

Following the Last Post ahead of Remembrance Sunday, both teams took a knee - with the usual exception of Nsiala, who raised a fist - to applause from the large Portman Road crowd.

Oxford started the game on the front foot but Town went close to going in front in only the fifth minute when Bonne flicked a header from a Lee Evans corner off the near post.

The game continued in a frenetic manner and a minute later the U’s forced Walton into his first save of the afternoon, the keeper diving away to his left to tip a Mark Sykes shot over the bar.

The visitors continued to see most of the ball and take the game to the Blues and on 14 a Sam Long shot deflected into the arms of Walton.

But five minutes later, the Blues hit the same post for a second time. Clements, showing no sign of nerves on his league debut, brought the ball forward a long way before cutting inside to Celina, who took a touch before hitting a low shot which hit the post, Long clearing the danger.

Town began to see more of the ball and in the 23rd minute Morsy struck a shot from 25 yards which deflected over off a defender. From Evans’s corner on the left, Edmundson nodded wide at the far post.

The Blues were on top - although with passes going astray in the final third all too often - but with Oxford still presenting a threat. On 29 Nathan Holland hit a low cross-shot from the left of the box which Walton snaffled sharply down to his left.

Donacien thwarted Sykes as he tricked his way into the area on 38, then two minutes later Cameron Brannagan was shown the game’s first yellow card for appearing to aim a stamp on Clements having shoved the full-back over as he shielded the ball back to Edmundson. The U’s man could count himself lucky not to be shown a red.

There was a scare for the Blues two minutes later when Holland was found in space running in on goal but Donacien made an excellent if risky challenge to upset the midfielder’s progress, then Nsiala completed the job inside the box.

Oxford manager Karl Robinson evidently felt there had been a foul and took his protests to the fourth official too far and was shown a yellow card.

That was the last action of a well-contested half in which the visitors started the stronger but with the Blues hitting the woodwork twice before the Blues were largely in control from around the midway point.

The Blues had got into good areas down the left but without crosses not finding their man, while too many passes had gone astray in promising positions in the middle of the park.

Town started the second half brightly and in the 48th minute Bonne forced keeper Simon Eastwood to save down to his left with a low effort.

Three minutes later, Celina curled wide from just outside the box after Burns had knocked back to him after good work down the left.

Town continued to dominate and went close in the 56th minute when, following a long spell of possession, Evans looped a cross in from the right, Edwards played wide to Clements, who sent a low ball across the six-yard box but in front of Bonne. The league debutant might well have shot himself.

Three minutes later, another well-worked Blues move culminated in Celina, much more influential since the break, feeding a ball through for Bonne but just too far in front of the striker.

In the 61st minute, Bonne’s excellent header found Celina midway inside the Oxford half from where the Kosovo international fed Edwards to his left. The winger, still waiting for his first Town goal, brought the ball forward into the area before hitting a shot high and wide from a tight angle.

Oxford came back into it and on 68 James Henry crossed from the right and Nsiala headed behind for a corner.

In the 71st minute, Town swapped Edwards, who had threatened to create a key moment but ultimately without delivering, and Burns, who had had a quiet afternoon, for Conor Chaplin and Sone Aluko, while Oxford switched Henry for Marcus McGuane.

A minute later, Sykes was found in space on the right for the U’s but Edmundson got across to block his shot from just inside the area.

The game was becoming more and more open and end to end. On 75 Chaplin shot wide from just outside the area for the Blues, then almost immediately Matty Taylor won a corner on the right for Oxford, which Edmundson headed clear.

As the game moved into its final 10 minutes, Morsy was booked for a foul on Oxford sub McGuane.

A minute later, Celina and Bonne broke away with the Blues’ top scorer unmarked down the middle but the on-loan Dijon man’s ball in from the left was behind the striker and Oxford were able to get back to cut out the opportunity.

On 85, Aluko was sent away down the right and after cutting inside his man crossed to the near post to Chaplin, whose effort looped wide.

The Town fans made their frustrations clear to referee Scott Oldham in the 88th minute after he stopped play so Taylor could receive attention, hardly the first Oxford player who had gone to ground with no one near him in the second half. As it was, the striker eventually limped his way to the touchline and was replaced by Dan Agyei.

As the fourth official’s board indicated five additional minutes, Clements was booked for a foul.

Town replaced Celina with Pigott for the final couple of minutes and Oxford brought on Ryan Williams.

Moments later, another Oxford player went down apparently requiring help with cramp, prompting chants of ‘boring, boring Oxford’ from the Sir Bobby Robson Stand.

Soon afterwards, Town claimed Pigott had been fouled in the area as a cross came over from right, however, referee Oldham penalised Bonne for colliding with keeper Eastwood, who unsurprisingly spent a minute or so on the ground before being able to continue.

The final whistle was greeted by more chants of ‘boring, boring Oxford’, the visitors having been allowed to take time-wasting well beyond what might be viewed as reasonable by the officials, who also got a number of decisions wrong.

Town will feel they did enough to win the game, although Eastwood was hardly overworked in the second half with the best opportunity Clements’s cross-shot which Bonne couldn’t reach.

The Blues last beat Oxford in February 1999 when the game ended 2-1 with Mark Venus, who netted a penalty, still the last Town player to have scored against the U’s.

The result sees the Blues stay ninth and Oxford sixth ahead of Town’s trip to Sunderland next Saturday with an FA Cup replay at Oldham on Tuesday.

Town: Walton, Donacien, Nsiala, Edmundson, Clements, Morsy (c), Evans (Aluko 71), Burns, Celina (Pigott 90), Edwards (Chaplin 71), Bonne. Unused: Hladky, Burgess, Harper, Fraser.

Oxford: Eastwood, Long, Thorniley, Moore (c), Brannagan, Taylor (Agyei 90), Sykes, Henry (McGuane 71), Kane, Holland (Williams 90) Seddon. Unused: Plumley, Forde, McNally, Bodin. Referee: Scott Oldham (Poulton-le-Fylde). Att: 21,322 (Oxford: 922).

Photo: Matchday Images

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OwainG1992 added 17:09 - Nov 13
Honestly felt we were certainly the better team and arguably deserved the win.
Oxford certainly don't mind wasting time and being prone on the floor!

BromleyBloo added 17:09 - Nov 13
Sounded like a tough game between two good sides, both battling hard/cancelling each other out. Ox playing for the draw, full of gamesmanship and we didn’t quite fire, but we didn’t lose and onwards and upwards again…………….

Get through the replay, beat Black cats and Rotherham and we’ll be looking good!


johnwarksshorts added 17:11 - Nov 13
Unlucky not to win. Good to see Clements making his debut and plying well.

midastouch added 17:13 - Nov 13
The Oxford players seemed to have pandemic of cramp towards the end!

chepstowblue added 17:20 - Nov 13
I have no problem with this result against a genuinely decent side. Nothing gained but no damage done.Taking little crumbs...a clean sheet is good. We may be still playing catch up, but I honestly believe we'll go to Sunderland next week and do some damage.

Theipswich added 17:22 - Nov 13
Thought we were scrappy and unconvincing

ButchersBrokenNose added 17:24 - Nov 13
This was a really good game, and we are starting to look good on a consistent basis. We are definitely moving in the right direction. Oxford are at the top end of the table and we matched them today. A draw was a fair result, but we probably edged it and are the more disappointed of the two teams to not take all three points.

The problem we are facing now is that we have to make up the ground we lost during our bad start to the season if we want to make the play-offs. Points lost to teams like Morcambe now have to made up against teams like Oxford, and that's going to be hard.

19781981twtd added 17:25 - Nov 13
Oxford set out for a draw and got it we were toothless got to learn how to beat negative dross.

Bert added 17:27 - Nov 13
On balance we deserved three points. Poor gamesmanship from Oxford to keep Town at bay. Need to take our chances but sooooooo much better than anything in the last five years.

therein61 added 17:27 - Nov 13
Had they scored early when having most of the game we could have been on the end of a wrong un, but well done boys for getting a hold and could have won it, all in all one of the best 0-0 iv'e seen for a while let's win the next two C.O.Y.B

blueboy1981 added 17:28 - Nov 13
A Point is a Point - but, at Home these are the tough games we need to shade in terms of result, not so much play / possession.
Oxford will be happy with a point, and would have before the game. With such teams a way has to be found through, with perhaps a Plan B.
They go away with the biggest benefit from this result - but we didn’t lose, and that is still progress.

RobITFC added 17:28 - Nov 13
Decent 0.0 , strange as both teams score goals but 4/5 0.0 , well done Baily Clements , good league debut.

Suffolkboy added 17:29 - Nov 13
Dealing with inconsistency ,be it within the team . OR the Officials is a consistent requirement - though the latter is most irritating ! Like players they as individuals can and do have an off day ,but time wasting is hardly difficult to either recognise or deal with !
The report indicates this Official Team were lacking in several respects ,BUT it entirely down to ITFC to always perform and self justify ; currently the frustrating inconsistency and seeming lack of technical ability to finish is proving a very real handicap !Get to it ,Team ,show us better !

dirtydingusmagee added 17:30 - Nov 13
a point today isnt a disaster , Oxford a good side, but were just spoilers today .

backwaywhen added 17:33 - Nov 13
Tough game that , a little slow in first half and allowed Oxford too much of the ball , grew into in second half and probably edged game overall.
Boy do Oxford know how to play the ref , as for fat Carl Robinson total mouthy Pr#ck !

billlm added 17:34 - Nov 13
Game management and poor ref, we were pretty toothless, if your going to bring on Chaplin( my fav player) number ten and move Celina wide left surely

ThaiBlue added 17:39 - Nov 13
Not bad 1st half lack of ideas 2nd half.edwards needs a bit more composure in his game and clements can make the left back his good game today.liked the oxford left nack classy player.oxford lots of play acting and time waisting probably didnt help the flow for town in the 2nd half too.walton commanding between the sticks.

ArnieM added 17:46 - Nov 13
Let’s be honest our new team should have beaten their more established opponents today . Oxford can thank their lucky stars , the woodwork and their second half gamesmanship for their point. A very good Oxford dude ( first 20mins) had to resort to those tactics in order to secure a ping coz Walton had sod all to do really today !

We’ll beat Sunderland!

warwickblue added 17:47 - Nov 13
Fair result I thought and an entertaining game of football to watch. You couldn't really put a fag-paper between the teams. 0-0 fair on the day.

warwickblue added 17:47 - Nov 13
Fair result I thought and an entertaining game of football to watch. You couldn't really put a fag-paper between the teams. 0-0 fair on the day.

bigbluetractor added 18:01 - Nov 13
Boring, boring Oxford!

runningout added 18:01 - Nov 13
Not sure why some seem iffy by opponents misdemeanours. Must realise teams will be up for it in all ways to get points of us. Got to be professional and Ruthless every game

BossMan added 18:05 - Nov 13
Not good enough. Celina not at 10. Chaplin at 10

bringonbrazil added 18:10 - Nov 13
Referee was a classic example of a boy who has never played football in his life.

spanishblue added 18:19 - Nov 13
Question how many games have we failed to score in oh yer 1 where are we in goals for tally defending has been a problem, we are still a team in transition getting better, thought did himself a big favor today

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