BRAD all over!

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OUFC4eva
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BRAD all over!

Post by OUFC4eva » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:16 am

Image

The hard working U's ended the Bantam's unbeaten record
in all competitions this season thanks to the mercurial
Chris Maguire's brilliant injury time free-kick.

Maguire fooled City 'keeper Colin Doyle by curling the ball over the wall and into
the bottom right hand corner from 22 yards.
Doyle's first movement was to his right but he appeared unsighted
and was rooted to his line. It was Mags' seventh goal of the season.

Image

Bradford were denied a second penalty at the death
after Romain Vincelot fell to the turf after a challenge in the box from the superb
Charlie Raglan.In truth it was a very tight affair but the game had some very good
moments and the effort and commitment from both sides was terrific.
You could see why Bradford have conceded very few goals as their back line
is highly organised and they dominate in the air. They were fortunate to gain
a soft penalty in the first half as Edwards was harshly adjudged to have blocked
Dieng. Clarke drove his pen. high against the crossbar.

Overall a solid Oxford display - Raglan and Dunkley excelled at the back,
confident handling from Eastwood, running power from Rothwell
and Ryan Taylor enjoyed a cameo on the left wing. He had a fine game.

The plaudits go to Chris Maguire again - where would we be without the
talented Scot?
Last edited by OUFC4eva on Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jimski
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Re: BRAD all over!

Post by Jimski » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:36 am

Yeah, it was a great game - absorbing first half where Bradford dominated possession, and we defended stoutly. The penalty was soft, so I'm glad it was missed. Bradford had a few good chances though - they were probably fuming at not being ahead at the break. The second half was a different story, as we more than matched them, and had them rocking at times. I was all set to be satisfied with a decent 0-0 against a very good side, when Maguire proved his class again.

I'm not exactly sure what happened at the death. It looked a penalty to me, but was the ref about to blow the final whistle anyway? (Time was already well up.) A bit lucky, but we were unlucky with decisions last week, so...

Dr Bob
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Re: BRAD all over!

Post by Dr Bob » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:03 am

From the back of the SSU, their penalty didn't look soft - it didn't look like a penalty at all...As for the incident right at the end of the game, from my position I could see the Bradford player execute a superb swallow dive. Even if there was contact, minimal or otherwise, exaggeration like that deserves to be ignored. We did not create enough clear-cut chances - and although they created several, they seemingly couldn't manage the old cow's arse-banjo interface.

They played us at our own game in the first half, only better. Their numbers 4 and 7 were finding angles, passes and runs that really cut our midfield to shreds. Just glad to get to half time level. Second half we came much more into the game. Got to disagree with OUFC4eva's description of Taylor's performance as a cameo. Not only did he play the whole game, I thought he contributed much more, and more positively, in that position than centrally - especially as it allowed Maguire to have a notionally more central role (I say notionally, given how much ground he covered, the entire match. Superb...again). I also thought Ruffles did really well. His struggles against their number 7 were more down to the latter's ability than Ruffles' failings. I also thought Taylor worked really well to support and cover when Ruffles looked to go forward (more, and more effectively, than Skarz).

Supporting Oxford really has got so much more enjoyable these last couple of years, for so many reasons. But special shout-out to Dunks. To watch him improve more or less week by week over the last year, his power (in both boxes), his tackling (and the timing of tackles in what could be penalty-conceding situations), even his ball-playing out of defence (that one chip over the midfield in the first half yesterday was worthy of the best libero) has been an absolute joy to behold.

Old Abingdonian
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Re: BRAD all over!

Post by Old Abingdonian » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:32 am

Fully agree with Dr Bob.

I thought Taylor had a fine game. He was physical and energetic in the right sense - although I think the yellow card was fair - and made a lot of the difference in the second half. I agree about Ruffles too. There are a number of opposition players down the years about whom you think, "I wish he was on our team", and Nicky Law (4) and Mark Marshall (7) are two of those, especially Law. He was excellent yesterday.

And Dunks too! I think we have discussed before whether this was inspired scouting or excellent coaching, but we have a very good L1 player for ?£20,000 or so.

This does raise the question of why, with these strengths (and Eastwood, Raglan, Maguire and Rothwell) we could easily have lost yesterday. As other posters have said, Bradford were very good - no stars, but well organised and plenty of skill and ideas. On our side, the observation a few weeks ago that Oxford could survive in the Scottish Premier League is a double-edged sword. I can see a very useful player in Johnson, but he wants more time and space than the better L1 sides are going to give him. I also wonder whether Edwards conceding three penalties in a few weeks is entirely a coincidence, although yesterday's was certainly the mushy side of soft.

Radley Rambler
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Re: BRAD all over!

Post by Radley Rambler » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:10 pm

Agree with Dr Bob and OA particularly in terms of Taylor's influence and the fact that he protected Ruffles and also freed up McGuire for a more central role. I'd also like to again say how well Eastwood played, he didn't have that much to do but he exudes confidence in his decision-making and comes strongly for crosses which makes a real difference - an attribute not demonstrated by any OUFC keeper in the last 5 years.

A big three points that and whilst we got the rub of the green, that evens out the recent bad luck in terms of soft penalties conceded/Wimbledon assualts not being punished.

Roll on Coventry - 3 points there against a poor side could take us into the play-off places........

My one concern is will we score enough goals? Thomas will get a few but not contribute much else, McGuire can't be expected to keep being the main/almost only scorer - Hemmings and Johnson need to up their game.

Matt D
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Re: BRAD all over!

Post by Matt D » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:40 pm

I was very impressed with bradford. a defence we struggled to trouble, a midfield that worked hard, good on the ball, and pacy. I can see why appleton drew comparisons, but thought they had more pace throughout their side and actually a bit more quality on the ball. the number three at left back looked a real handful until he had a heavy blow to the foot. if they had some finishers up front, they would have an extremely good side I think.

thought we deserved a point but were a bit lucky to take all three (not that i'm complaining: thanks maguire!). ruffels deserves praise for slotting straight in and delivering a much-improved performance at left back after a bit of a torrid time last time out, I agree with the praise that's directed towards taylor (being able to play a long diagonal ball out to the left wing was a good outlet and prompted a number of attacks, and his headed knock down for hemmings deserved a better finish), and maguire demonstrated himself once more as the man for the big moment.

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