Happy Mappy v APPEH? (Oxford v Northampton - Toosdee)

EricSabin

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Probably a bigger game for Oxford in the context of the season than us, thanks to that thumping win at Orient on Saturday. Would probably take a draw, but I think we will go there looking to win as we should be doing. This run of Orient, Oxford and Wycombe is where a wobble would be expected to come if there's going to be one, so 4 points from the first 2 of that trilogy would be a great haul.
 

LordJord

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Obviously going to this. Not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years but expecting two sides to really go for the win. Agree that the orient result has taken a lot of pressure off.

Going for a 2-1 victory, rodders with his second bicycle kick in a week for the winner.
 

ThisTinpotLeague

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Expect Wilder to field a negative line up with many changes and new loan signings being introduced. Easiest prediction of the year for me: 3-0 to Oxford.
 

Deepcut Cobbler

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Nearly 2,000 here tonight, is this where we lose, to enable us to start another unbeaten run against Wycombe on Saturday?
Will be very happy with a draw tonight.
 

EricSabin

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Won't be 2,000 in the ground at kick off! Seeing tweets from people saying they are gridlocked, the trust have abandoned their bus and are walking!!
 

Judge Dredd

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Whoever the woman is doing updates on this game on Sky Sports News is seriously ridiculously bad.
 

EricSabin

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Whoever the woman is doing updates on this game on Sky Sports News is seriously ridiculously bad.

Bianca Westwood it is. She's awful! Apparently we are top scorers in the Championship!
 

EricSabin

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Hold on town. Hold the fuck on.
 

EricSabin

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Wow. Absolutely unbelievable.
 

cufc17

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Typical Wilder, that.
 

Nelza82

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Deserved win. Oxford kicked us off the park in the first half. Pen looked handball although possibly harsh. Better team won, we didn't allow them to play, simple.
 

Strawberry_Jam

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Due to location I don't very often get to games, been to Plymouth, Bristol away and a couple of home games. Listened to part of the game on the oxford player to get their point of view. I'd like to know why there seems to be a stigma against the way we play football? The view games I've seen we've kept hold of it well and without it pressed, and counter attacked well. Maybe we don't play 'proper' 'football' like Oxford 'do', but I'd say it was pretty good. Maybe its years of seeing rubbish like Cocker, Rodgers, Ravenhill etc that has clouded my view.

P.S Having seen the pen, I challenge any fan to tell me why that wasn't a penalty.

P.P.S. Living the dream. Trying to take it all in, and I don't think I'll be able too until its too late.
 

Nelza82

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We play football when it's the right time.

Oxford fans will never give us credit due to Wilder.
 

ThisTinpotLeague

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Well that was bloody unenjoyable.

Northampton were the better team. As runaway title winners go, they're more ruthlessly efficient than breathtakingly spectacular but I'm sure they don't lose much sleep over that. They have a very strong squad. When I can recognise most of the names on the bench, it tells me that there's a huge amount of L2 experience there.

Dire game on the eyes after threatening to be interesting for the first 20 minutes. Choppy, lots of free kicks and not much good play. I do think we are the best bet for falling away now and I worry a bit after a series of indifferent home performances. Swansea seems a distant memory!

We miss Baldock as an attacking threat so much. I think it's a very easy argument to say that we have had, and lost, the two best players in the division. It shows, because there wasn't much about us today.

That said, it's bizarre to put your best player and top scorer out on the wing. I hate it every time we do it, because it usually means dropped points. I could understand Roofe being top of a midfield three, otherwise he has to be a striker.
 

GeneralLee

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I'm not entirely sure the comment relating to Wilder and giving credit to Northampton is valid. In practise Chris Wilder is an excellent tactician who is does well in forging partnerships across the pitch, moreover his defensive units are more often than not drilled and disciplined. His man management skills in a winning side are also good. Unfortunately he's not a very nice chap and his behaviour in treating individuals when the chips are down is less than desirable. Regardless, that should not detract from Northampton who really impressed me, I also fully expect them barring a terrible run of form to wrap up the title.

Appleton's style of football at this level is designed to outnumber the opposition. Against most opponents it works because our players are technically astute enough to play that brand of football, they can pass, move and create space however this also creates giant gaps in the formation. Northampton did extremely well mixing pace, counter attacking football and exploiting the gaps that we often leave when moving forward, gaps that most teams don't often find. Conditions didn't help our style of play however when one full back and both central midfielders have bombed forward it created a gaping hole that to Northampton's credit, they exposed like no team have. I also thought Northampton's game management was the best I have seen at this level, credit where it's due.

Its quite clear that they (Northampton) are a combative side with momentum on their side. They combine counter attacking football with the right amount of awareness that street smart and successful sides in League Two often display.

They closed down our first point of offence which is not a straight forward task. OUFC like to pass out from the back using centre halves and full backs to inject an attack when interchanging with wingers however both wingers were closed down so effectively, particularly in the second half I can only recall two occasions that our wide men were allowed to receive the ball, turn and look forward when receiving from a full back. That is credit to Northampton, their fitness levels were excellent.

That being said, from where I was it didn't look like a penalty (but I could be wrong). Northampton looked the more industrious of the two sides however had Oxford been more competent in front of goal it could have been a different story...
 
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Frustrating that. I think 'ruthlessly efficient' is an excellent description of Northampton. Thistinpotleague sums it up very well. Reminded me a lot of Stevenage Borough under Westley. Very direct, two big strikers winning everything, Holmes the spark. It's a good team that will win the league. Those three the stand out players for me tonight, especially Holmes. Happy for Wilder and Thomas as well, for all the rubbish when things went sour; they got us out of the Conference.

Our bone of contention is the referee. That was hideous from Keith Hill. Just watched the highlights to try and get my head around it all. Can't get over the Rose decision - that only being a yellow is as disgusting as the coward's attempt at a tackle. Pen I'm less fussed about. There's no way Mullins can predict where that balls going when Richards has got his back to him and he's stood five yards away; but once you take all the logic away it does look a foul at least.
 

mase

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The ref's performance was dreadful for both teams. You could Argue Northampton got the better end of his shit decisions but it's not like he was poor just against us. That said, it was fucking infuriating to sit through given his dog-shit decisions. No idea how Danny Rose stayed on the pitch.

I was sat dead in line with the penalty incident and it did seem quite harsh. Mullins was about 5 yards away with his hands by his side. It did hit his arm but he didn't move them towards the ball in any way, it was kicked at him and from a distance that left him no time to even react. I'll check it out on the highlights to see it again but my initial thought was that it was very harsh.

Northampton's keeper's time-wasting was a piss-take.

Richards goading the Oxford fans with his celebration - meh. Some people were bothered by it, I couldn't give a shit given our lot gave their keeper abuse all game about his Thai ladyfriend having a bigger dick than he does. If the fans are going to give it out then they need to take it as well imo.

The biggest annoyance of all last night was none of that though, it was our own performance. I can't remember us stringing more than two passes together at any given time. Jordan Bowery didn't win a single header. Kemar Roofe did one thing well all game which was a great touch near the end of the first half that created an opportunity that nobody bothered to attack the back post for. Other than that his game was all about giving the ball away. The centre-midfield was virtually non-existent for the most part. They barely won a tackle and i'm almost certain they didn't win any headers.

In summary, we looked nervous at the back, non-existent in midfield and piss-poor up top. Were it not for Buchel making a good save in each half and Northampton hitting the bar, it could have been worse. Yes Sercombe hit the post but we did fuck all else other than that.

I've seen Northampton fans saying they 'played us off the park' which is bollocks. You didn't play us off the park but you did fully deserve the win. Not bothered by Chris Wilder either, it's been long enough now and I was never pissed off with him leaving anyway. Always grateful to him for getting us out the Conference.

In summary, we were shit and deserved fuck all. Well done Northampton - well deserved and congrats on winning the league :)
 

Nelza82

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We certainly didn't play you off the park, we were the better team yes, wasn't a complete gulf or anything though.

Personally just think we stifled your play and didn't allow you to play, I did feel Oxford were lacking up front, does Roofe always play out wide?

The ref was terrible all game, for both teams too. It's a shame as it happens all too often.
 

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Why did Portsmouth let Holmes join Northampton?
 

Nelza82

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He was their player of the year but then seemed to fall out of favour. Perhaps just didn't work out for him there, he's been incredible for us since he joined.
 

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He was their player of the year but then seemed to fall out of favour. Perhaps just didn't work out for him there, he's been incredible for us since he joined.

Portsmouth must be regretting it!
 

Bar Carousel

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Why did Portsmouth let Holmes join Northampton?

In a nutshell, Andy Awford.

We had just lost to a non-league team (Aldershot FA Cup) for the first time in our history. He needed scapegoats to blame, and Holmes' performance in that game was woeful. He became the fall guy to divert attention off the managers back and was given away for free. Not surprisingly, Awford followed him out the door not much later. Oddly, much worse performers stayed and kept their place in the team.

His leaving very much split the fanbase. Some could see the player inside him that at best fleetingly appeared in his time with us. Others felt he'd had enough chances and wasn't up to it.

Seems Wilder is playing him in a much more attacking role whereas at our place, he was kept out wide and didn't see a lot of the ball.

I liked him, and pleased that he's showing the potential that Barnet fans told us he had. Just a shame that for whatever reason, he couldn't achieve that with us.
 

Nelza82

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Out of interest Oxford Fans....just had a read of your forum and lots of your fans keep harping on about your style of football.

What happened to it last night? Is it a case that when you're not allowed to play you struggle with a plan b? Genuine question by the way and not on a wind up.

I think we have a good balance in terms of when to play and when to stop the opposition playing which you have to do against the better teams like yourselves and Plymouth.
 

mase

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Out of interest Oxford Fans....just had a read of your forum and lots of your fans keep harping on about your style of football.

What happened to it last night? Is it a case that when you're not allowed to play you struggle with a plan b? Genuine question by the way and not on a wind up.

I think we have a good balance in terms of when to play and when to stop the opposition playing which you have to do against the better teams like yourselves and Plymouth.

I think it's a number of things:

1) Baldock was a massive part of how we play. He was so good for us and is evidently missing now.
2) You got right in our face all over the pitch and it disrupted things massively.
3) Too many players just didn't turn up on the day.
 

Nelza82

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I think it's a number of things:

1) Baldock was a massive part of how we play. He was so good for us and is evidently missing now.
2) You got right in our face all over the pitch and it disrupted things massively.
3) Too many players just didn't turn up on the day.

Didn't realise quite how much you'd miss Baldock I guess, is he playing for MK now?

What is your views on Bowery out of interest?
 

mase

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Didn't realise quite how much you'd miss Baldock I guess, is he playing for MK now?

What is your views on Bowery out of interest?

He was recalled, I've no idea if he's featured much or not tbh.

As for Bowery, tall gangly striker who (last night at least) was incapable of winning a header.
 

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