Oxford United 2 (Constable 14, Pittman 79) Northampton Town 1 (Platt 76)

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

JON-PAUL Pittman came off the bench to score the winner as Oxford United claimed a confidence-boosting win over in-form Northampton Town.

The striker's powerful finish was his first goal since January and ended United's four-game winless run.

James Constable's tap-in had given the hosts a lead at the end of a first half where Sean Rigg and Jake Forster-Caskey hit the woodwork.

But Northampton were always a threat and they drew level through Clive Platt's header.

Pittman quickly restored United's advantage and the Cobblers' chances of getting back into the game disappeared when Clarke Carlisle was sent off in the 89th minute.

Michael Raynes replaced the recalled Johnny Mullins at centre half in one of three changes from Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Barnet.

Lee Cox came in for Adam Chapman, while Jake Forster-Caskey started at the expense of Simon Heslop.

Alfie Potter reverted back to the right flank, so Rigg was pushed up alongside Constable.

The converted winger created the first chance on six minutes, when he charged down a clearance from a dawdling Lee Nicholls.

Constable got to the rebound first but he slipped, allowing the Cobblers goalkeeper to scramble the ball out for a throw-in.

Northampton arrived as npower League Two's form side and they looked dangerous on the break.

Former U's winger Chris Hackett provided their main outlet and had two early efforts.

An expectant crowd only had to wait until the 14th minute for the opening goal, scored by Constable.

The striker was unmarked to convert Potter's cross from six yards and although Northampton's players complained bitterly over an offside decision, the goal stood.

United came within a whisker of a second goal six minutes later.

Forster-Caskey won a free-kick out wide and from the set piece Peter Leven found Rigg, whose shot was deflected onto the crossbar.

Chris Wilder's side had hit the woodwork twice in stoppage time against Barnet and they were denied again just before the half hour.

Forster-Caskey was given space 20 yards out and the teenager let fly with a vicious, swerving shot which beat Nicholls but struck the post.

The rebound fell to Rigg, whose shot was turned behind by a relieved Nicholls, who saved from Andy Whing at the following corner.

Northampton may have looked unsteady at the back, but they remained dangerous at the other end.

A series of corners late in the half forced United to work overtime, but Ryan Clarke was in the right place to keep out a shot from Ben Harding.

Hackett fired the first opening of the second half wide, before Nicholls was called upon to make another good save.

Constable crossed low for Rigg, who turned in a flash and shot low, only to be denied by the goalkeeper's left hand.

Pittman had a great chance to score a minute after coming off the bench, but he missed the target from the edge of the box after good work by Potter.

Northampton brought on Platt to assist Adebayo Akinfenwa, who was being kept quiet by Raynes.

The visitors steadily increased the pressure, with Hackett fizzing a shot just wide, while Akinfenwa missed the target with a header from close range.

The momentum finally told 14 minutes from time, when Platt rose to head in Hackett's cross.

It was a blow to the hosts, but parity lasted for only three minutes as United struck back.

Leven launched a ball over the top which was perfect for Pittman, who steadied himself before lashing a shot past Nicholls.

The Cobblers threw everything forward in the closing stages in search of a second equaliser.

Hackett was again the most likely scorer and Clarke had to make one smart parry to keep one shot out.

Northampton's chances were dented a minute from time, when Carlisle collected a second booking for blocking off Potter.

United saw out the final minutes to claim a big three points.

Oxford Utd (4-4-2): Clarke, Whing, Raynes, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Cox, Leven, Forster-Caskey (Pittman 56), Constable, Rigg (Worley 83).

Unused subs:Brown, Chapman, Heslop, O'Brien, Davis.

Northampton: Nicholls, Tozer, Carlisle, Langmead, East Robinson, Hornby, Harding, Demontagnac (Platt 61), Hackett, Akinfenwa.

Unused subs: Charles, Snedker, Mukendi, Moult, Huws.

Referee: Scott Mathieson.

Attendance: 6,635 (1,073 visitors).

Comments (16)

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5:12pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Joe1 says...

My prayers were answered. We deserved a hard fought game. We badly needed that but still ahve not moved up the table, it is that tight.
My prayers were answered. We deserved a hard fought game. We badly needed that but still ahve not moved up the table, it is that tight. Joe1
  • Score: 2

5:25pm Sat 24 Nov 12

oldun says...

We can get those 60 points from 26 matches to go up. Bound to draw at least 3 so 19 wins 4 defeats or 18 wins 2 defeats will do it. COYY
We can get those 60 points from 26 matches to go up. Bound to draw at least 3 so 19 wins 4 defeats or 18 wins 2 defeats will do it. COYY oldun
  • Score: 2

5:30pm Sat 24 Nov 12

oldun says...

Carlisle - good to see the arrogant 'intellectual' sent off
Carlisle - good to see the arrogant 'intellectual' sent off oldun
  • Score: 2

8:02pm Sat 24 Nov 12

Beau champ mummy says...

Just back from game we were lucky get shot of barn door constable we need some decent strikers
Just back from game we were lucky get shot of barn door constable we need some decent strikers Beau champ mummy
  • Score: -6

10:03pm Sat 24 Nov 12

pop up pirate says...

Beau champ mummy wrote:
Just back from game we were lucky get shot of barn door constable we need some decent strikers
you scummers should stay on your wn site.
[quote][p][bold]Beau champ mummy[/bold] wrote: Just back from game we were lucky get shot of barn door constable we need some decent strikers[/p][/quote]you scummers should stay on your wn site. pop up pirate
  • Score: 3

6:56am Sun 25 Nov 12

adlibber says...

Decent win that I couldn't see happening so hat duly tipped - I still have my doubts about our chances of promotion becasue of the inherent Wilder inconsistency syndrome - Nothing less than a lengthy unbeaten run with just the odd draw will suffice. I'm happy for Wilder to prove me wrong.

Oh and that plank Beachamp Mummy is a scummer with a life sadder than a discarded shoe on a motorway
Decent win that I couldn't see happening so hat duly tipped - I still have my doubts about our chances of promotion becasue of the inherent Wilder inconsistency syndrome - Nothing less than a lengthy unbeaten run with just the odd draw will suffice. I'm happy for Wilder to prove me wrong. Oh and that plank Beachamp Mummy is a scummer with a life sadder than a discarded shoe on a motorway adlibber
  • Score: 2

10:12am Sun 25 Nov 12

BigYellowScarf says...

A great result, fully deserved. The resilience and determination shown all afternoon after a frustrating recent run were a sign (yet again) of a united, committed squad who are fully behind a very good manager. Note, too, his astute late substitution: because it was a defender he brought on, some clown in front of me started shouting about Wilder’s negativity, not understanding that it was a deft solution to a tactical problem. CW continues to do a great job in the face of persistent uncannily bad luck with injuries. (How those people who poured scorn on the idea that having Craddock and Potter missing for large chunks of last season was no big deal must be eating their words.) Well done, CW. Well done all thirteen who featured yesterday. Keep it up. Come on you yellows.
A great result, fully deserved. The resilience and determination shown all afternoon after a frustrating recent run were a sign (yet again) of a united, committed squad who are fully behind a very good manager. Note, too, his astute late substitution: because it was a defender he brought on, some clown in front of me started shouting about Wilder’s negativity, not understanding that it was a deft solution to a tactical problem. CW continues to do a great job in the face of persistent uncannily bad luck with injuries. (How those people who poured scorn on the idea that having Craddock and Potter missing for large chunks of last season was no big deal must be eating their words.) Well done, CW. Well done all thirteen who featured yesterday. Keep it up. Come on you yellows. BigYellowScarf
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sun 25 Nov 12

oldun says...

BigYellowScarf wrote:
A great result, fully deserved. The resilience and determination shown all afternoon after a frustrating recent run were a sign (yet again) of a united, committed squad who are fully behind a very good manager. Note, too, his astute late substitution: because it was a defender he brought on, some clown in front of me started shouting about Wilder’s negativity, not understanding that it was a deft solution to a tactical problem. CW continues to do a great job in the face of persistent uncannily bad luck with injuries. (How those people who poured scorn on the idea that having Craddock and Potter missing for large chunks of last season was no big deal must be eating their words.) Well done, CW. Well done all thirteen who featured yesterday. Keep it up. Come on you yellows.
Spinning (big time) - but we all do it. Really good to see you back , BYS . "Very good manager" - don't agree (no surprise there) . We have had managers I would less like to see in charge - but give me Greaves, Atkins (boring) , both Smiths , Horton (yes), Summers, Evans, Turner, Saunders and a few others we have had here
[quote][p][bold]BigYellowScarf[/bold] wrote: A great result, fully deserved. The resilience and determination shown all afternoon after a frustrating recent run were a sign (yet again) of a united, committed squad who are fully behind a very good manager. Note, too, his astute late substitution: because it was a defender he brought on, some clown in front of me started shouting about Wilder’s negativity, not understanding that it was a deft solution to a tactical problem. CW continues to do a great job in the face of persistent uncannily bad luck with injuries. (How those people who poured scorn on the idea that having Craddock and Potter missing for large chunks of last season was no big deal must be eating their words.) Well done, CW. Well done all thirteen who featured yesterday. Keep it up. Come on you yellows.[/p][/quote]Spinning (big time) - but we all do it. Really good to see you back , BYS . "Very good manager" - don't agree (no surprise there) . We have had managers I would less like to see in charge - but give me Greaves, Atkins (boring) , both Smiths , Horton (yes), Summers, Evans, Turner, Saunders and a few others we have had here oldun
  • Score: 0

10:47am Sun 25 Nov 12

bigchet says...

very good win and performance against an in form side. pity we did not get chris hacket when he was available as he would have done a good job for us. hopefully we can do well and progress in the cups.
very good win and performance against an in form side. pity we did not get chris hacket when he was available as he would have done a good job for us. hopefully we can do well and progress in the cups. bigchet
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Brenda Jackson says...

Ignoring the intellectually challenged from
wilts..

A much improved (had to be!) Performance, and deserved win.
Alfie not on form. Whing had a very good match i thought, playing out of position he stuck to his task, and on one occassion- he dummied their winger and strode forward to make a decent pass!! We hit the woodwork twice the first half, that must have had the players thinking 'Our lucks deserted us again' - But no, our opening goal looked suspiciously offside, but we'll take that as we were due a turn in fortunes!
Poor attendance, due to recent displays and the lousy weather, maybe. And despite the noble efforts of U's fans to rally Support, well done those, no doubt the crowd would have been even less. Need a run of wins now to convince the stay aways to return.
Ignoring the intellectually challenged from wilts.. A much improved (had to be!) Performance, and deserved win. Alfie not on form. Whing had a very good match i thought, playing out of position he stuck to his task, and on one occassion- he dummied their winger and strode forward to make a decent pass!! We hit the woodwork twice the first half, that must have had the players thinking 'Our lucks deserted us again' - But no, our opening goal looked suspiciously offside, but we'll take that as we were due a turn in fortunes! Poor attendance, due to recent displays and the lousy weather, maybe. And despite the noble efforts of U's fans to rally Support, well done those, no doubt the crowd would have been even less. Need a run of wins now to convince the stay aways to return. Brenda Jackson
  • Score: 2

3:57pm Sun 25 Nov 12

The Manager says...

Welcome three points against Northampton but the match stats tell us despite the fact we were playing at home we were struggling a little bit. It was only when Wilder switched to 4 4 2 did we start to look like a decent outfit. The addition of Pittman definitely made a vast difference. One major problem we have is the fact that Potter is lacking confidence at times and we don't have the ideal coach employed at the club to help him and other attacking players that we have. When is the Chairman going to wake up to that fact or has he lost interest . A few more wins needed to convince me that Wilder can still do the job.
Welcome three points against Northampton but the match stats tell us despite the fact we were playing at home we were struggling a little bit. It was only when Wilder switched to 4 4 2 did we start to look like a decent outfit. The addition of Pittman definitely made a vast difference. One major problem we have is the fact that Potter is lacking confidence at times and we don't have the ideal coach employed at the club to help him and other attacking players that we have. When is the Chairman going to wake up to that fact or has he lost interest . A few more wins needed to convince me that Wilder can still do the job. The Manager
  • Score: 1

4:52pm Sun 25 Nov 12

oldun says...

442 - obvious innit . Get it right CW
442 - obvious innit . Get it right CW oldun
  • Score: 1

5:25pm Sun 25 Nov 12

jbowling says...

'A few more wins needed to convince me Wilder can do the job'

You know by now, I know by now, we all know by now he can't do the job.

Grateful for the three points it takes pressure off but home wins will happen now and then won't they. A srge up the table ? Nah
'A few more wins needed to convince me Wilder can do the job' You know by now, I know by now, we all know by now he can't do the job. Grateful for the three points it takes pressure off but home wins will happen now and then won't they. A srge up the table ? Nah jbowling
  • Score: -1

6:32pm Sun 25 Nov 12

hawkeye1 says...

oldun wrote:
442 - obvious innit . Get it right CW
Hey oldun,
I can still hear Summers shouting,
I used to live next door to Wadem College sports ground where Oxford trained, I worked nights at Cowley and the ammount of times his shouting used to wake me up, but in those days it was worth it, remember Saunders, he really turned the club around until Norwich took him from us, good days back then.
[quote][p][bold]oldun[/bold] wrote: 442 - obvious innit . Get it right CW[/p][/quote]Hey oldun, I can still hear Summers shouting, I used to live next door to Wadem College sports ground where Oxford trained, I worked nights at Cowley and the ammount of times his shouting used to wake me up, but in those days it was worth it, remember Saunders, he really turned the club around until Norwich took him from us, good days back then. hawkeye1
  • Score: 1

6:58pm Sun 25 Nov 12

oldun says...

Greaves, Saunders - both massively turned a struggling team round - same players - different manager
Greaves, Saunders - both massively turned a struggling team round - same players - different manager oldun
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Sun 25 Nov 12

RocketMan says...

The jury is still out, a lot of work to be done between now and the end of January. I would rather see Wilder and the Team perform than have a "merry go round" with a different manager and players to bed in.
It does not help with so many injuries and the disruption to the flow which this causes. What has happened to the club's sports science development? I thought this was suppose to have avoided some of the issues we have had?
Still need better killer passes and instinct from strikers, otherwise we have no chance of going up, and certainly no chance of staying up.......if.....we get there. Otherwise, we are just suckers to see a one nil lead wiped out in the closing stages. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next transfer window!
The jury is still out, a lot of work to be done between now and the end of January. I would rather see Wilder and the Team perform than have a "merry go round" with a different manager and players to bed in. It does not help with so many injuries and the disruption to the flow which this causes. What has happened to the club's sports science development? I thought this was suppose to have avoided some of the issues we have had? Still need better killer passes and instinct from strikers, otherwise we have no chance of going up, and certainly no chance of staying up.......if.....we get there. Otherwise, we are just suckers to see a one nil lead wiped out in the closing stages. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next transfer window! RocketMan
  • Score: 1

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