Sunday, 24 February 2013

MATCH REPORT: Oxford United 0-0 York City

The game started, 90 minutes passed, the game ended.

It would be easy to leave a match report at that about the game against York City but one must try to make something from it.

York arrived at the Kassam having not won in their previous eight games whilst United were looking to follow up a win at Plymouth last time out. York manager Gary Mills had picked an attacking side on paper with forward players Jason Walker, Matty Blair, Alex Rodman and Ashley Chambers all lining up. But it soon  became clear that York would be happy to sit in for a point and it would be down to Oxford to try and break them down. It proved a very difficult task with the first effort on target not coming until the 20 minute mark - Damian Batt firing straight at Michael Ingham in the York goal. Moments later the Minstermen's keeper was stretched to keep a powerful shot from Josh Parker out but these were the only moments of the half for the home side.

York actually forced the best chance of the half and the entire game. Lanre Oyebanjo found room on the right hand side and his superb cross was met by Blair - who somehow managed to head tamely straight at Luke McCormick from around six yards out with the goal gaping.

Both sides' defences were eliminating any threat from the  strikeforce they faced, and this was typified as Chambers hit a speculative 30 yard shot that dipped just over bar.

Ingham was controlling his area well and coming for most corners and crosses that United did manage to get in. A midair collision with Michael Raynes threatened to overheat an otherwise dull game, but the aggression never got any further than finger pointing which summed up the entire afternoon.

Deane Smalley and Alfie Potter were introduced by Chris Wilder in an attempt to give York something different to think about but the away side stayed solid to earn themselves another point on their quest to distance the gap between the relegation zone and themselves. Oxford were poor, too many players looked like they were going through the motions in acceptance that they won't be at the club next season. Damian Batt and Jake Wright were the highlights of an otherwise static and poor performance.

The U's travel to leaders Gillingham on Tuesday night in the first of three games against sides currently riding high in League Two. On today's performance, they're in for a very difficult game.

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