Crocombe holds the key for Oxford United on 21st birthday

United’s No 21 Max Cromcombe, who turns 21 today, has set his sights on a clean sheet against Bristol City at Ashton Gate tonight

United’s No 21 Max Cromcombe, who turns 21 today, has set his sights on a clean sheet against Bristol City at Ashton Gate tonight

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

Max Crocombe is aiming to give himself the best possible birthday present as he targets a clean sheet for Oxford United tonight (7.45).

The goalkeeper turns 21 today and will be handed a start at Bristol City, with George Long ineligible to play in the Capital One Cup.

It is the first time the New Zealander has played for the U’s in more than a year, when he kept clean sheets in the final three games of the 2012-13 season.

Crocombe, who wears the No 21 shirt, sought to play down the significance of the occasion to impress in a competitive game and just wants to help the team take the scalp of their Sky Bet League One hosts.

“It’s great, but I’m not a big birthday person and the prime focus is the match in the evening,” he said.

“I don’t big the games up too much anyway. It’s something I’ve learned from the past and you just approach them normally.

“In an ideal world I’ll save ten penalties, but the thing with goalkeeping is sometimes you don’t touch the ball and that’s the way it is.

“My main aim is not to let any goals in. If I do that and don’t have to make any saves then I’ll be happy.”

Another player who could come into the frame for the visitors is Jon Meades.

Like Crocombe, he was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 opening day defeat to Burton Albion.

If he plays, it will be the Welshman’s competitive debut for the U’s after missing the whole of last season with an ankle injury.

The midfielder is confident they can spring a surprise and progress to round two, where Manchester United would be among their potential opponents.

He said: “It will be a different kind of game to Saturday, but I think we can definitely go there and get a result.

“There’s no reason why we can’t be one of those upsets.”

Long’s absence means one of United’s young goalkeepers, Eddie Cavanagh or Jack Stevens, are in contention to make the bench.

Michael Raynes (neck) is unlikely to play, so Sam Long is set to come into the squad.

City plan to make a host of changes from the side, which impressively won 2-1 at Sheffield United on Saturday.

Former Arsenal striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is among the players expected to start.

Bristol City: from FIelding, Flint, Williams, Osborne, Wagstaff, Pack, Freeman, Reid, Bryan, Emmanuel-Thomas, Wilbraham, Burns, El-Abd, Little, Cunningham, Ayling, Smith, Elliott, Baldock, Richards.

Oxford Utd: from Crocombe, Riley, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Meades, Ruffels, Potter, Rose, Brown, Morris, Hylton, Roberts, O’Dowda, Collins, S Long, Hunt, Cavanagh, Stevens.

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Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 24th November 2014

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Oxford Mail:

12:44pm Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 is closed following an incident between Spring Hill Road and Sandy Lane/ Rutten Lane between Yarnton and Begbroke.

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3:55pm Monday 24th November 2014

A MOTORIST accused of killing 14-year-old Liberty Baker as she walked to school appeared in court today.

Fog warning for Oxfordshire tonight and tomorrow morning

Oxford Mail:

3:25pm Monday 24th November 2014

A SEVERE fog warning has been put in place for Oxfordshire overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Explore today's interactive front page

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Want to explore our interactive front page? Here it is...

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Oxford Mail:

9:46am Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 near Wootton, West Oxfordshire has reopened in both directions after an accident.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

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What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

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Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

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Andy Whing delighted at shutting out Adebayo Akinfenwa threat

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Monday 24th November 2014

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Oxford Mail: football generic

12:48pm Monday 24th November 2014

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Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion from 12 noon.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

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Oxford Mail:

9:20am Monday 24th November 2014

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Oxford United head coach has mixed feelings after goalless draw

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

MICHAEL Appleton refused to be too downbeat and instead praised the way Oxford United stuck to the game plan as they drew a blank against AFC Wimbledon.

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8:00am Monday 24th November 2014

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FOOTBALL: Hat-trick hero John Mills clocks up Didcot Town milestone

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