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Match Report by Laurence Reade.
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Oxford United 1 (Blackstock) Reading 4 (Soares, Butler 2, Igoe) played at Didcot Town FC

A hastily arranged friendly this one, no team sheet,
no tea bar, still at least the bar was open, and the
game was entertaining. Radio Oxford said the game was
for Steve Basham to get fit and that Phil Whitehead
would play for Reading. As it transpired neither were
Reading put out a team that would not look out of
place in Division 2 while Oxford's XI was a mixture of
fringe players and youth team members.
Unsurprisingly Reading took complete control early,
and forced as penalty in 8th minute when Cox brought
down Butler. He promptly redeemed himself by saving
Cureton's spot kick.
Reading continued to press and open their account in
the 24th minute when Soares ran in form the left to
slot neatly past Cox.
Roy Hunter hit the bar on 34 minutes before Butler
headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy. He was
to have chances to score far more than the 2 he did.
Butler did open his account in the 44th minute when a
brilliant low cross by Cureton on the left allowed the
big striker to slide in to tap home at the back post.
The second half saw United switch to 4 4 2 but the
first meaningful action had nothing to do with the
Gavin Gordon tangled with John Mackie on the left
flank and the referee awarded a free kick. Before
Powell had a chance to take it Mackie had elbowed
Gordon and the striker responded with an impressive
right jab to the chin that floored the Reading man in
his own 6-yard box. As the referee was in the process
of sending Gordon off, the Oxford bench called over to
ask if he could be substituted rather than dismissed.
He acquiesced and Ciampoli came on. None of this had
any impact on Gordon; he trooped off mournfully
occasionally rubbing his jaw.
Reading continued to control the game and on 62
minutes possession moved form left to right and Igoe
ran diagonally in from the right to slot home.
Cureton had a goal ruled offside and Ciampoli had a
sharp shot well saved by Ashdown as Oxford rallied in
the final few minutes. Omoyinmi had a shot well saved
before Blackstock provided the U's with a little
consolation with a well-taken volley from an acute
angle on the left, 6 yards out, following a Ciampoli
free kick. However it was fitting that Reading would
got the final word with Butler receiving the ball on
the right putting it on to his left foot before
brilliantly chipping Cox into the top left hand
But where was Basham?

Oxford United
Simon Cox
Angus Mackay
Paul Powell
Roy Hunter
Adam Garner
Darren Patterson
Manny Omoyinmi
Dean Whitehead
Gavin Gordon
Dexter Blackstock
Matt Brandish

Subs (2 only)
Josias Carbon (for Patterson HT)
Dwight Ciampoli (for Gordon 50)

Jamie Ashdown
Steve Laidler
Alex Smith
Phil Parkinson
Adam Theo
John Mackie
Sammy Igoe
Joe Gamble
Martin Butler
Jamie Cureton
Louis Soares

Andre Fashanu
Jamie Young
Richard Bouton (for Soares 78)
Andre Boucaud
Gary Middleton


Next Match:-Aston Villa in the Worthington Cup 3rd round.

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