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Oxford United look to recreate Chesterfield trip
IT IS almost exactly two years since Oxford United’s last visit to Chesterfield and they are hoping history will be recreated tomorrow.
Only the most die-hard supporters travelled to Derbyshire with any genuine optimism in November 2010 – the U’s had lost six of their previous seven league games, while the Spireites sat top of the pile.
But in what ranks as one of the best results in recent seasons the U’s upset the form book to win 2-1, thanks to goals from Steve MacLean and Tom Craddock.
Over the course of 90 minutes, the campaign was revived and United began on a run of seven wins from nine games to climb from 21st place into a play-off spot by January.
Chris Wilder has fond memories of the trip.
The United manager said: “It was our first season back in the Football League and we had a decent start in terms of performances and then had a bit of a lull where we found the transformation for a few of the players was too much.
“We brought in a couple of older heads – Paul Wotton, Steve MacLean and Ben Futcher, just to add a bit of Football League experience.
“We went up there and got a deserved result on the night, they were top of the league.
“It was a similar part of the season, I think we had less points than we have now and we ended up by Christmas time getting close to the play-offs.
“I think that just shows you what can happen.”
United leapfrogged Chesterfield in the table last weekend, even though a dominant performance against Torquay United only produced a goalless draw at home.
When the fixtures were released, many will have expected this clash to feature two teams battling at the sharp end of the division.
Both sides have experienced similar campaigns so far, which has seen them lack the consistency needed to challenge.
Wilder said: “They will have the same expectations, that maybe they haven’t started the season as they would have liked to and had a few injuries, but still be looking to say there’s plenty of life in the season.
“That will be the same for us.”