Walker the wild side?

From the Rage Online newsdesk Tuesday, March 16th, 2004  

United welcome near(ish) neighbours Cheltenham Town to the KasStad tomorrow, hot on the heels of two successive defeats. Twelfth-placed Cheltenham, meanwhile, were only denied victory at top of the league Doncaster by a last minute equaliser on Saturday. United desperately need to win this match to restore confidence and get their promotion challenge back on track, while for Cheltenham there is only pride to play for, so they might as well make it easy for us, mightn’t they?

In an attempt to address Oxford’s goalscoring problem, having just gone three games without finding the net, Ian Atkins has brought in striker Richard Walker from Blackpool on a one month loan with an option to make it permanent. Walker is likely to go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s game, although possibly not into the starting line-up. This implies that Steve Basham’s injury has yet to heal, and also that Atkins is not yet prepared to give Andy Scott a game. Julian Alsop is likely to start against his former club, and it is to be assumed that he will score, bearing in mind the opposition. Unless Atkins, who has been strongly linked with a move to Bristol Rovers this week, has a blinding flash of inspiration, which we consider unlikely, the rest of the side is likely to be the one humiliated at Carlisle on Saturday.

Cheltenham are also likely to stick with the same line-up that played at the weekend. Despite United’s horrendous recent form, we can’t help but feel slightly optimistic about this match as the players should be really fired up for it. However, reality intervenes and our prediction has to be 1-1. If we’re lucky.

Following this evening’s results which saw both Doncaster and Hull win and Huddersfield draw, Oxford have now slipped down to fifth and won’t be able to catch Huddersfield even if they do somehow beat Cheltenham. Doncaster actually did United a favour, winning 1-0 at Yeovil who remain three points behind the Us. This takes Donny eleven points clear of Oxford, while Hull’s 3-0 win over Orient gives them a nine point advantage, at the same time effectively ending the Os’ faint play-off hopes. Huddersfield had to come back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with third-bottom Rochdale at the McAlpine.

Torquay climbed one point above United by virtue of their 2-2 draw at Bristol Rovers. Although this might seem disappointing, the Gulls were 2-0 up, and so will have to be seen as a postive result for the Us. One of the evening’s best results was Mansfield’s 3-0 thrashing at Bury. This leaves the Stags three points behind United and also buggers their goal difference. Mansfield being Oxford’s next opponents this could be a good time to play them. Another good result was Lincoln only able to draw 2-2 at home to Southend, although the Shrimpers should have won, being 2-0 up at one stage and only conceding the equaliser in the final minute. It takes Lincoln to within four points of United.

Other results saw Swansea’s play-off bid falter as they went down 2-1 at second-bottom Macclesfield, while Northampton also lost ground by only being able to draw 1-1 at bottom club Carlisle (which puts Oxford’s result there into perspective). Scunthorpe went down 2-0 at home to Kidderminster, who go above them, and Cambridge’s appalling home record continued as they went down 1-0 to Boston. In the second division Guy Butters was on target for Brighton in their 2-0 win at Colchester.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2004 at 12:00 am and appears under 2004, News Items, OldNews. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

© Rage Online 1998 - 2018 All rights reserved. If you want to copy stuff, please quote the source

another fine mash from ox4encoding