Date:Monday February 3 2014
So the Dons travelled to the Kassam Stadium hoping to take points out of an encounter with Oxford for the first time in 8 attempts over the last 5 years. Coming off the back of 2 wins on the spin and with the Dons front line strengthened with the loan signing of Danny Hylton and Charlie Wyke, whose loan was extended for a further 2 months on transfer deadline day, the outlook looked good against a manager-less Oxford side. The Dons lined up in the now familiar 5-3-2 with captain Bennett returning to the back line, while Morris kept his place but instead started in a midfield role, and Wyke and Hylton were preferred upfront to Midson and Sheringham. The Dons started well and dominated in terms of both possession and shots but in windy conditions on a poor pitch they failed to create clear cut chances and were unable to capitalise when on top, ultimately conceding the lead shortly before half time (once again) from a poorly defended corner (once again).
Despite the one goal deficit, the 700 strong Dons following had reason for optimism at the restart as the Dons are accomplished comeback kings this season with only Morecambe having secured more points from losing positions. The killer goal however came ten minutes into the second half and you could've predicted the source. The U's had only just signed David Connolly on loan from struggling Portsmouth the day before and while the former Womble frontman did not enjoy the best of returns to the Dons earlier this season, with Pompey going down 4-0, after coming of the bench at half time it was perhaps inevitable that he would get the better of Antwi to make it 2-0. The Dons were not done yet though and, as ever, Ardley brought on Arthur & Sainte-Luce to bring some impetus to the Dons attack (why the pair don't start regularly is beyond me) and the they managed to pull one back through Wyke 20 mins later, after a rare defensive mistake from the Oxford rearguard - the first goal they've conceded this year. Midson too joined the attack minutes after, replacing the injured Morris, as the Dons pressed for an equaliser but, although Hylton had a chance late on, they couldn't get the point that they perhaps deserved.
The Dons have played a lot worse than this and still come away with points however Oxford, it seems, remain our bogey team.
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Date:Monday February 3 2014
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Don Good (Wednesday January 7 2015)
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