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  • "Wilder's Oxford record

    Games in charge: 257
    Won: 116
    Drawn: 66
    Lost: 75"
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Fleetwood Tn 1 (Schumacher 12) Oxford Utd 1 (Kitson 89)

Oxford Mail: Fleetwood Tn 1 (Schumacher 12) Oxford Utd 1 (Kitson 89) Fleetwood Tn 1 (Schumacher 12) Oxford Utd 1 (Kitson 89)

DAVE Kitson headed a late equaliser to keep Oxford United top of the League Two table and preserve their unbeaten away record.

It was the least the visitors deserved after battering the home side for almost the whole of the second half.

Fleetwood opened the scoring through Steven Schumacher's 12th-minute free-kick, but were unable to build on the lead.

United were well in the game before half time and were utterly in charge after the restart.

They forced a host of openings, but their chance of taking something from the game appeared to vanish when Danny Rose had a penalty saved against his former side ten minutes from time.

But Kitson ensured the battling performance would be rewarded by glancing a header into the far corner in front of an ecstatic away end.

As expected, U's manager Chris Wilder named the same XI and substitutes from Tuesday's goalless draw with Newport County.

A clever pass from Kitson got James Constable in behind the Fleetwood defence inside two minutes, but the striker's cross was cleared under pressure.

Nathan Tyson led the line for Fleetwood and the loan signing from Blackpool quickly served notice of his ability on the break. Running on to a long ball, his cross was just behind Gareth Evans, allowing United to regroup.

A similar move led to the opening goal on 12 minutes. Tyson chased down a through ball and drew a foul from Johnny Mullins down the left side of the penalty area.

Fleetwood packed the box looking for a header, but Schumacher had other ideas and curled a shot over Ryan Clarke and into the far corner.

United had folded after going behind on their previous visit to Highbury in January, but the league leaders showed their resolve by having more of the ball up to half time.

They kept possession well and probed for openings, although a well organised Fleetwood were tough to break down.

Stewart Murdoch played just in front of the back four in an effort to cut off the supply line to Dave Kitson, while James Constable was well shackled.

Josh Ruffels got the away fans going with a mazy run on 17 minutes which ended with a blocked shot.

The 20-year-old laid on a decent chance shortly afterwards, beating his man and crossing for Ryan Williams, who was unable to make a clean connection on his header.

It began a spell where Fleetwood were forced to defend in numbers and Mullins had a sweet volley well blocked at a corner.

The home side were direct when they had the ball and looked dangerous when they broke forward.

One incisive move on 32 minutes saw Schumacher presented with a glorious chance to double his tally for the afternoon, but the midfielder blazed Gareth Evans's cross off target.

It was a rare clear opening, though, and despite trailing United headed into the interval with plenty of reason to be optimistic.

After Clarke had parried a shot from Evans early in the second half, United went on to enjoy their best spell of the game.

For 15 minutes they pinned Fleetwood back, much to the concern of the home fans.

The Cod Army defence was stretched by one attack which saw Constable, Ryan Williams and Kitson all have efforts saved, before Hunt blazed wide.

Asa Hall rippled the net with one left-footed shot, but it passed just the wrong side of the post.

Just before the hour United's players had their heads in their hands as Constable mis-kicked from close range after Raynes won a flick-on at a corner.

Tyson had a header saved and United's flow was briefly disrupted by a stoppage to treat Mullins, before they poured forward again.

With 15 minutes left Kitson was denied by a superb one-handed save from Davies to keep out the striker's firm header.

The pressure told five minutes later, when Kitson was brought down in the area.

Rose stepped up, but Davies guessed correctly and dived to his left to parry.

The setback did nothing to slow United's momentum and they continued to pile forward.

Time began to slip away, but in the 89th minute the breakthrough finally arrived.

Hunt crossed from the right and Kitson rose highest to glance the ball into the net.

United pushed for a winner, but Fleetwood hung on for a point.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Hunt, Raynes, Mullins, Newey, Williams, Hall, Rose, Ruffels, Kitson, Constable.

Unused subs: Crocombe, Bevans, Lynn, Long, O'Dowda, Davies, Marsh.

Fleetwood Tn: Davies, McLaughlin, Roberts, Pond, Taylor, Evans (Cresswell 82), Schumacher, Murdoch, Hughes, Sarcevic, Tyson (Dieseruvwe 77).

Unused subs: Lucas, Parkin, Hogan, Blair, Carr.

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).

Attendance: 2,739.

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