Oxford Utd 1 (Smalley 6) Torquay Utd 0

Oxford Utd 1 (Smalley 6) Torquay Utd 0

Oxford Utd 1 (Smalley 6) Torquay Utd 0

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

DEANE Smalley's early strike was enough to give Oxford United victory against struggling Torquay United.

The striker had other chances to make the game safe, but his eighth goal of the campaign claimed only a fifth home win of the league season.

A second goal would have killed off a limited Gulls side and United's lack of a killer blow gave them hope late on.

They came close to an equaliser in stoppage time when Kevin Nicholson's free-kick struck the crossbar. It bounced back into play, where Jake Wright bravely cleared off the line.

The U's captain flung himself into the net, injuring himself in the process and there were ten minutes of stoppage time played after he was stretchered off.

The teamsheet showed three changes to the starting line-up from the midweek defeat to Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup.

Ryan Williams, Nicky Wroe and Danny Rose all returned, as Scott Davies, Michael Raynes and Sean Rigg dropped to the bench.

It had taken almost 80 minutes to muster a shot on target on Tuesday, but they made a bright start.

Within the opening minute a long throw from David Hunt was not cleared and Torquay scrambled to make blocks from James Constable, Danny Rose and Johnny Mullins.

It did not take long for the opening goal to arrive.

On six minutes, Ryan Williams picked up the ball through the middle and slipped in Smalley, who tucked a left-footed finish just inside the post.

It was the striker's first goal in ten appearances and he was quickly mobbed by teammates.

United looked lively, moving the ball around well in difficult conditions.

A strong wind blew down the ground and at one stage Kevin Nicholson was delayed from taking a free-kick when the ball would not sit still.

Torquay started the day in the bottom two and offered little going forward before the break.

Their one chance came on 22 minutes, when Nicholson's free-kick was spilled by Ryan Clarke, but the goalkeeper made amends by blocking Joss Labadie on the follow-up.

Clear chances were also at a premium at the other end.

Smalley thought he had a second goal on the half hour mark, when Tom Newey's ball into the box was flicked into the striker's path. He rounded Michael Poke, but the goalkeeper somehow recovered to get a hand on the ball as Smalley prepared to stroke it into an empty net.

The interval saw a torrential downpour, which miraculously cleared to reveal blue skies just as the players returned for the second half.

Torquay started well and ten minutes after the restart they carved open a good chance.

Elliott Benyon was picked out by a low cross, but his shot from 12 yards was blocked by a combination of Hunt and Jake Wright.

After recovering from a sloppy start to the half, United's best chances continued to fall to Smalley.

The striker made one chance for himself, surging into the box and from an acute angle his shot beat Poke, but Anthony O'Connor superbly cleared off the line.

Smalley also leapt highest to head a Hunt cross just wide in a good spell midway through the half.

The chances began to dry up as the half wore on, giving the Gulls hope of taking something from the game.

It was not smooth progress from United, but although they did not use the ball well at times, their back four was rarely troubled until the very end of the 90 minutes.

As the game went into stoppage time Nicholson hit the crossbar with a free-kick. The ball looped into the air and back into play, where Jake Wright bravely headed over.

The momentum took him flying into the net and there was immediately concern from his teammates.

The skipper was stretchered off, but was sitting up and applauded the home fans for their ovation.

It meant a lengthy spell of stoppage time, but Torquay could not find a way through.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Williams, Wroe, Rose, Ruffels (Rigg 72), Constable, Smalley.

Unused subs: Henly, Bevans, Long, Raynes, Davies, Marsh.

Torquay Utd: Poke, O'Connor, Pearce, Downes, Nicholson, Mansell, Lathrope (Bodin 87), Labadie, Hawley (Chapell 72), Stockley, Benyon (Goodwin 81).

Unused subs: Rice, Tonge, Cameron, Cooper.

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey).

Comments (13)

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5:33pm Sat 25 Jan 14

South Upper 87 says...

Did not take up my season ticket seat today for the the fifth time this season. Sounds like we struggled yet again Hopefully the Mail can report on Monday that Wilder has gone out on a win..... Did anyone recognise any potential managers in the stand?.
Did not take up my season ticket seat today for the the fifth time this season. Sounds like we struggled yet again Hopefully the Mail can report on Monday that Wilder has gone out on a win..... Did anyone recognise any potential managers in the stand?. South Upper 87
  • Score: 3

5:38pm Sat 25 Jan 14

greengarden says...

Well done CW and Oxf Utd another 3 pts.

I'm sure the negative anti CW brigade who usually post there absolute garbage on here will be so disappointed that we won today,

Let's just ignore them.

Come on you Yellows we have everything to play for ! The majority are behind the club and mgmt who are working so hard to get us promoted
Well done CW and Oxf Utd another 3 pts. I'm sure the negative anti CW brigade who usually post there absolute garbage on here will be so disappointed that we won today, Let's just ignore them. Come on you Yellows we have everything to play for ! The majority are behind the club and mgmt who are working so hard to get us promoted greengarden
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Sat 25 Jan 14

dovepe says...

A lot better today.I thought Danny Rose had a good game.winning the ball back on a number of occasions.Keep going still up there.
A lot better today.I thought Danny Rose had a good game.winning the ball back on a number of occasions.Keep going still up there. dovepe
  • Score: 4

6:10pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Davos P says...

Looks like CW and IL were both between a rock and a hard place. Disappointed that it's come to this. However I think CW has made a poor negotiating move. Could have gone onto achieve promotion rather than fighting relegation. Lenegan would have clearly rewarded him with a new contract had he showed some patience. Can't help think that some negativity around the ground has contributed to his decision as well. He never really felt an affinity with many supporters.
Looks like CW and IL were both between a rock and a hard place. Disappointed that it's come to this. However I think CW has made a poor negotiating move. Could have gone onto achieve promotion rather than fighting relegation. Lenegan would have clearly rewarded him with a new contract had he showed some patience. Can't help think that some negativity around the ground has contributed to his decision as well. He never really felt an affinity with many supporters. Davos P
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Sat 25 Jan 14

dave from witney says...

greengarden wrote:
Well done CW and Oxf Utd another 3 pts.

I'm sure the negative anti CW brigade who usually post there absolute garbage on here will be so disappointed that we won today,

Let's just ignore them.

Come on you Yellows we have everything to play for ! The majority are behind the club and mgmt who are working so hard to get us promoted
Not so sure about your statement that the majority are behind the manager. I make no further comment on Wilder, however just 4200 local fans attended today. There are well over three thousand season ticket holders, so less than 1000 were prepared to pay at the gate. When attendances are down a couple of thousand and many season ticket holder's seats left empty,this is hardly a majority backing. Three points it was, did play better but still struggled to convincingly beat the team botton but one.
[quote][p][bold]greengarden[/bold] wrote: Well done CW and Oxf Utd another 3 pts. I'm sure the negative anti CW brigade who usually post there absolute garbage on here will be so disappointed that we won today, Let's just ignore them. Come on you Yellows we have everything to play for ! The majority are behind the club and mgmt who are working so hard to get us promoted[/p][/quote]Not so sure about your statement that the majority are behind the manager. I make no further comment on Wilder, however just 4200 local fans attended today. There are well over three thousand season ticket holders, so less than 1000 were prepared to pay at the gate. When attendances are down a couple of thousand and many season ticket holder's seats left empty,this is hardly a majority backing. Three points it was, did play better but still struggled to convincingly beat the team botton but one. dave from witney
  • Score: 7

6:21pm Sat 25 Jan 14

dovepe says...

greengarden wrote:
Well done CW and Oxf Utd another 3 pts.

I'm sure the negative anti CW brigade who usually post there absolute garbage on here will be so disappointed that we won today,

Let's just ignore them.

Come on you Yellows we have everything to play for ! The majority are behind the club and mgmt who are working so hard to get us promoted
Garbage!!!!! He's gone! Thanks for him getting us back in the league.but He's to negative
[quote][p][bold]greengarden[/bold] wrote: Well done CW and Oxf Utd another 3 pts. I'm sure the negative anti CW brigade who usually post there absolute garbage on here will be so disappointed that we won today, Let's just ignore them. Come on you Yellows we have everything to play for ! The majority are behind the club and mgmt who are working so hard to get us promoted[/p][/quote]Garbage!!!!! He's gone! Thanks for him getting us back in the league.but He's to negative dovepe
  • Score: 3

7:52pm Sat 25 Jan 14

BigAlBiker says...

The game was ok, Smalley took his goal well but missed two others so disappointed with him, Rose, Ruffels and the defence all did what was required, Beano tried hard and Williams frustrates me, he is excellent but sometimes tries to take to many players on, but I would have him every time.

Three points is all we need from every game no matter how we play, so thanks Chris for your input over the years but this season was one to much for you! hopefully we can get someone who is clever and can encourage our players week in week out.
The game was ok, Smalley took his goal well but missed two others so disappointed with him, Rose, Ruffels and the defence all did what was required, Beano tried hard and Williams frustrates me, he is excellent but sometimes tries to take to many players on, but I would have him every time. Three points is all we need from every game no matter how we play, so thanks Chris for your input over the years but this season was one to much for you! hopefully we can get someone who is clever and can encourage our players week in week out. BigAlBiker
  • Score: 1

9:04pm Sat 25 Jan 14

golfmad86 says...

I was sat near press box and 2 guys were being looked after, both of who apparently are free agents after leaving managers post in the championship and league 1 respectivly.
I was sat near press box and 2 guys were being looked after, both of who apparently are free agents after leaving managers post in the championship and league 1 respectivly. golfmad86
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

golfmad86 wrote:
I was sat near press box and 2 guys were being looked after, both of who apparently are free agents after leaving managers post in the championship and league 1 respectivly.
Didn't you recognise them? Any ideas who they might. Have been? Maybe IL has someone lined up although I believe if he had then Mickey Lewis wouldn't have been appointed short term. I do hope that it's only very short term and that whoever comes in replaces Lewis and Melville pdq.
[quote][p][bold]golfmad86[/bold] wrote: I was sat near press box and 2 guys were being looked after, both of who apparently are free agents after leaving managers post in the championship and league 1 respectivly.[/p][/quote]Didn't you recognise them? Any ideas who they might. Have been? Maybe IL has someone lined up although I believe if he had then Mickey Lewis wouldn't have been appointed short term. I do hope that it's only very short term and that whoever comes in replaces Lewis and Melville pdq. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 1

11:56pm Sat 25 Jan 14

adlibber says...

What amazes me more than anything is there are still people who support Wilder! he has shown that despite being give 5 years at a club that he has zero loyalty and is happy to milk the club and claim the glory of one promotion and 4 years of stagnation. It's over Chris pack your bag and go... thanks
What amazes me more than anything is there are still people who support Wilder! he has shown that despite being give 5 years at a club that he has zero loyalty and is happy to milk the club and claim the glory of one promotion and 4 years of stagnation. It's over Chris pack your bag and go... thanks adlibber
  • Score: 1

1:16am Sun 26 Jan 14

Coyyellows says...

Message for adlibber , do yourself a favour , get a life along with the other minority , do you really have to keep resorting to comming on here every Saturday after a match and post your pathetic negativity threads ? What do you do for a living , , I bet it's rubbish as you have so much time to Comment on here . Your a wa##er of a supporter , the club doesn't need people like you , you bitter twisted muppet . We're in a league where we're holding our own with the resources we can have you pr##k
Message for adlibber , do yourself a favour , get a life along with the other minority , do you really have to keep resorting to comming on here every Saturday after a match and post your pathetic negativity threads ? What do you do for a living , , I bet it's rubbish as you have so much time to Comment on here . Your a wa##er of a supporter , the club doesn't need people like you , you bitter twisted muppet . We're in a league where we're holding our own with the resources we can have you pr##k Coyyellows
  • Score: -2

9:57am Sun 26 Jan 14

Yellowlines says...

Coyyellows wrote:
Message for adlibber , do yourself a favour , get a life along with the other minority , do you really have to keep resorting to comming on here every Saturday after a match and post your pathetic negativity threads ? What do you do for a living , , I bet it's rubbish as you have so much time to Comment on here . Your a wa##er of a supporter , the club doesn't need people like you , you bitter twisted muppet . We're in a league where we're holding our own with the resources we can have you pr##k
You have forgotten your medication again.
[quote][p][bold]Coyyellows[/bold] wrote: Message for adlibber , do yourself a favour , get a life along with the other minority , do you really have to keep resorting to comming on here every Saturday after a match and post your pathetic negativity threads ? What do you do for a living , , I bet it's rubbish as you have so much time to Comment on here . Your a wa##er of a supporter , the club doesn't need people like you , you bitter twisted muppet . We're in a league where we're holding our own with the resources we can have you pr##k[/p][/quote]You have forgotten your medication again. Yellowlines
  • Score: 1

4:49pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Coyyellows says...

And who are you yellowlines ?
And who are you yellowlines ? Coyyellows
  • Score: 0

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