MICHAEL Appleton backed Jon Meades to learn from his mistake after the midfielder was sent off as Oxford United were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy 2-0 at Cheltenham Town last night.
And to cap a miserable night for the U’s, substitute Danny Rose limped off late on with a hamstring injury.
United fell behind when they switched off on the stroke of half-time, allowing John Marquis to head the home side in front.
The odds of the visitors getting back on level terms lengthened considerably midway through the second half, when Meades received a straight red card from referee Brendan Malone.
Appleton reviewed the footage of the tackle on Jason Taylor after the game and disputed the decision, which he felt was influenced by the way Cheltenham responded.
“Obviously the reaction of their players didn’t help, but I think some of us probably need to learn from that because I genuinely think it affected the decision,” he said.
“It was a foul, but was it a red card? I don’t think so.
“He will learn, he’s a midfield player and having watched it back again I made plenty of those tackles and got away with it in my time.
“I think because he slipped on the follow through it looked a lot worse than it was really.
“Jon will be fine, he will serve his punishment and come back stronger from it.”
Skipper Jake Wright felt the sending off did not end United’s hopes of taking something from the game.
Wright: “I still think we had chances to get back in the game.
“I was fouled for their second goal, I was being pushed in the back.
“But we’re not here to make excuses, they beat us 2-0 and we weren’t good enough on the night”
Koby Arthur made the game safe when he doubled the lead 12 minutes from time.
The defeat leaves United with just one win from seven games in all competitions, but Appleton felt there was little wrong with the visitors at Whaddon Road.
He said: “It boils down to switching off 20 seconds before half-time and when it does go down to ten men it can be a bit of a worry at times.
“Sometimes you end up chasing the game and it can punish you, but we accept what it is and move on.”
He added: “You’ve got to really dig deep from the pit of your stomach when you’re on a poor run.
“I said to the players ‘you don’t look like a side that lacks confidence’.
“I enjoy watching us play, again we’ve created loads of opportunities, especially in the first half.”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest United news:
9:30am Saturday 4th July 2015
Darryl Eales says the only big regret of his first year in charge at Oxford United was the takeover was not completed sooner.
4:30pm Friday 3rd July 2015
Oxford United’s pre-season friendly against Coventry City will now take place at Nuneaton Town on Saturday 1st August (3pm).
9:30am Friday 3rd July 2015
A YEAR on from stepping down as Oxford United chairman, Ian Lenagan is convinced he did the right thing in selling a controlling stake to Darryl Eales.
9:00am Friday 3rd July 2015
RYAN Clarke has paid tribute to Oxford United's supporters after his six-year stay at the club ended yesterday by mutual consent.
4:14pm Thursday 2nd July 2015
RYAN Clarke has admitted it is a sad day but he leaves Oxford United with "amazing memories" after six years at the club.