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  • "That was some really lovely play from Gateshead, very attractive football. Much of their posession was in their own half and did us no damage, but nonetheless they do hold on to the ball very, very nicely, playing it out from the back and probing for the right ball forward. All of their players seemed comfortable on the ball, and their crossing from open play and set pieces was outstanding. It's the kind of football we should be playing in this country, and great to see it being played by a Conference team. You would have to say that on the balance of play Gateshead did not deserve to lose, although as I said a lot of their posession didn't hurt Oxford because it was in the wrong half. I hope Gateshead get promoted because playing like that they deserve it. Full credit to their manager for that style of play - the thought crossed my mind several times that if Wilder goes it should be our turn to approach a club to ask to speak to their manager - Gateshead! I would get my season ticket back to watch football like that every week.

    Well done Oxford for coming away with the victory, especially given the makeshift defence and debutants. Whilst we looked quite poor in the first half, I believe the plan was to try and defend our untried defence, as it were, and to let them play themselves into the game, never having played together before, and everyone out of position. Yes we could have come out all guns blazing and tried to shut them down, but that would have been pretty risky. You would not want to be chasing a game against this Gateshead team, with a dodgy defence. In the second half we came out a lot more and looked much more positive, but in extra-time again we sat deep.

    I thought the penalty was a penalty - it was a clear foul and would be given outside the box without hesitation, and given there is no law of the game which says "you have to be less stricter on fouls inside the box" then it was a pen. Okay it was clumsy rather than deliberate, but again there is no law which says "a foul has to be deliberately intentioned", other than handball - which is the only infringement which must be deliberate. But a foul is a foul. We have been on the wrong end of those before at the end of cup games - Kevin Francis vs Chelsea in the late 90s anyone?

    Their pen appeal was right on the line, so you could see why the ref didn't give it, but it was close to say the least. Their goal was definitely offside though.

    Given the players at his disposal, and the style of team he was facing, you would have to say that Wilder's strategy, ugly as it was, paid off. I don't agree that Constable and Kitson looked disinterested, but I certainly think they looked knackered - if you haven't played you won't know how tiring it is for a forward to defend from the front, when your own team are 35 yards behind you, and then make attacking runs. Defending is much less tiring than playing up front (in my experience at least, having played both positions). Also impressed that Wilder still has them working hard for each other, despite the managerial situation."
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Gateshead 0, Oxford United 1 (Smalley pen 116)

Oxford Mail: Gateshead 0, Oxford United 1 (Smalley pen 116) Gateshead 0, Oxford United 1 (Smalley pen 116)

Deane Smalley struck a penalty deep into extra time to send a decimated Oxford United through in the FA Cup against Gateshead.

The striker converted from 12 yards after Ryan Williams had been fouled in the area to set up a second-round trip to Wrexham on Monday.

It was a dramatic finish to a game which for long periods had been locked in stalemate.

Gateshead had been the better side, but could not turn their possession into an end product.

United lacked quality on the ball, although it was hardly surprising given they began the night with a makeshift side.

Oxford Mail:

  • Ryan Williams sets off on a run

The injury list grew longer throughout the night as their side began to resemble a youth team, but once again their character shone through.

It wasn't pretty, but they will face Wrexham in the second round on Monday.

The team sheet brought two surprises, as United's injury-hit squad was stretched further by the loss of Michael Raynes and Johnny Mullins.

It forced a radical reshuffle of the back four, with David Hunt and Tom Newey shifting into central defence.

In their place at full back were Matt Bevans and David Lynn, both making their senior debuts, while Scott Davies replaced the ineligible Asa Hall.

Gateshead had been 2-0 up in the first game at the Kassam Stadium almost a month earlier and they made most of the running before the break.

Gary Mills' side were unchanged and looked the more coherent side.

Josh Walker provided their main threat and the striker headed wide from an early corner.

United's patchwork back four looked unsurprisingly shaky, with Bevans giving away two cheap set pieces early on.

Oxford Mail:

  • Dave Kitson keeps possession as a Gateshead defender closes in

Gateshead won five corners in the opening 20 minutes and from the fifth James Curtis rose to head goalwards, forcing Ryan Clarke into a save.

Gateshead looked good until the final third and had relatively little to show for their control of the game.

One promising move late in the half was ended when Walker's shot on the turn was well blocked by Bevans.

United were very cautious and rarely had good possession in the opposition's half, but they showed signs of life early in the second half.

Kitson flicked a Rose corner which Jamie Chandler cleared off the line, while Constable had a shot well blocked from a neat Williams pass.

Just before the hour the boisterous home fans appealed for a penalty when Chandler was sent sprawling by Davies.

The referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and the United wall blocked Sirrell's effort.

Smalley replaced Davies to give the visitors more of an attacking threat on the right flank.

Williams switched to the opposite wing and caused the most problems to the Heed defence.

The visitors were beginning to enjoy their best spell of the game, but Gateshead hit back.

With ten minutes remaining Colin Larkin found some space just inside the area, but his powerful shot was too close to Clarke, who parried.

It was the final chance of the 90 minutes, but the game began to open up as legs tired in extra time.

Oxford Mail:

Walker saw an acrobatic effort roll just wide, while at the other end Williams forced a smart save from Bartlett as Gateshead's defence hesitated.

In the 100th minute Larkin had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside.

The home side looked the more likely to find a winner as the minutes ticked by.

But just as it looked a shoot-out was inevitable, Williams was felled by Curtis in the area.

Smalley stepped up and coolly slotted in his seventh goal of the season before being mobbed by his teammates.

Oxford Utd (4-4-1-1): Clarke, Bevans, Hunt, Newey, Lynn, Williams, Davies, Rose, Ruffels, Kitson, Constable.

Subs used: Smalley (Davies 68), Long (Rose 99), Marsh (Kitson 106) Unused subs: Crocombe, Lee, Shama, O'Dowda.

Booked: None Gateshead (4-3-3): Bartlett, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Sirrell, Oster (Tait 118), Turnbull, Chandler (Ramshaw 115), Larkin, Walker (Hatch 118), Marwood.

Unused subs: Magnay, Baird, Brown, Maddison.

Booked: Marwood Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).

Attendance: 2,632 (98 visitors).

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