Oxford United 1, AFC Wimbledon 0

Dean Morgan fires in the only goal of the game

Dean Morgan fires in the only goal of the game

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

DEAN Morgan scored the only goal of the game as Oxford United claimed another precious three points last night – but they had to survive a scare late on.

U’s boss Chris Wilder was sent off after taking his anger out on a set of water bottles in protest at a harsh free-kick given against his side in stoppage time.

George Moncur drew a fine save from U’s goalkeeper Ryan Clarke with the set piece and there followed an almighty goalmouth scramble.

But United came through and took another narrow win thanks to a terrific strike from Morgan just before the hour mark.

While the performance lacked the verve of Saturday’s win against Rotherham, the result was all-important in the race for promotion.

U’s top scorer James Constable and Damian Batt had to make do with places on the bench after serving suspensions as Wilder named an unchanged line-up.

The home side had been impressive for most of their 2-1 win on Saturday, but they looked edgy at times during the first half.

Less than two minutes were on the clock when Dean Morgan gave the ball away cheaply, gifting Luke Moore a shot which Clarke tipped over the crossbar.

From the corner the U’s goalkeeper was again called into action, stopping Pim Balke-stein’s header.

Despite the slow start, United should have taken the lead in the 12th minute, but Morgan failed to make contact with a superb cross from Scott Rendell.

Wilder’s men had more of the ball, but Wimbledon looked brighter when they were in possession and cut through the hosts with worrying ease at times.

One such move on 28 minutes was brought to an end by an ill-advised challenge in the box from Liam Davis.

Sammy Moore went sprawling on the turf, but to the visitors’ astonishment referee Keith Stroud waved away their appeals for a penalty.

Their clearest sight of goal in the first half came eight minutes before half-time.

A quick break scythed through United, who needed a smart block from Clarke to deny Moncur.

The hosts needed some inspiration and it almost arrived a minute later.

Oli Johnson burst into the penalty area, jinked past a challenge and fired in a shot which beat goalkeeper Seb Brown, only for Balkestein to clear off the line.

Johnson rescued the rebound himself, but with teammates screaming for a pass he elected to try again and Brown blocked.

The near miss lifted the U’s and they went on to finish the half strongly.

Adam Chapman saw a 25-yard free-kick parried by Barton, while successive Leven corners were headed off target by Asa Hall and Andy Whing.

United emerged from the interval with more purpose and played at a higher tempo, pinning Wimbledon back.

One spell at the start of the half saw the U’s force five corners in less than three minutes.

Hall almost extended his hot streak in front of goal on 52 minutes, arrowing in a left-footed shot from the edge of the box which Brown turned behind for yet another corner.

But the pressure was growing and in the 57th minute Wimbledon’s defence was finally breached.

A clever back heel from Leven 25 yards out found Hall and although his pass was not clean, it found Morgan in a yard of space.

The winger had at times looked a shadow of the player who had dazzled against Rotherham, but he showed a flash of class to smash a shot past Brown at the near post.

Far from crumbling, Wimbledon responded well to the setback and went on to enjoy a good spell against an Oxford side who looked uncertain whether they should stick or twist.

With 19 minutes remaining the fresh legs of Constable and Batt were introduced.

A second goal almost followed immediately, when a Leven corner was flicked on for Johnson, whose header hit the crossbar.

The ball was scrambled away and when it came back into the danger area Hall had a header saved by Brown.

United spent much of the last 15 minutes looking to protect their lead rather than extend it.

Wimbledon were kept at arm’s length until the very end, when Clarke’s stop from Moncur proved key.

But all that mattered was the win – and United got it.

Comments (11)

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12:53am Wed 21 Mar 12

the wizard says...

At last, your manager showing some emotion, why not, at least it lets you guys know he cares, and there is nothing wrong with that. Keep your wins coming and with a bit of luck you can squeeze Crawley out, but it will take some doing.

We had a bad day again on Saturday but bounced back tonight. Most of the crowd waited for PDC to see the last player off and then watch his emotion after a win for us against a good Torquay side.
Very predictably DiCanio was full of emotion prior now to our Wembley date on Sunday.

Nothing wrong with managers showing what it means to them, perhaps a few more should do so, it may bring about better standards of refereeing, but perhaps not in our life times though. Big smiley for you boys, keep winning, and squeeeze Fatty Evans out of the play off's, you CAN do it.
At last, your manager showing some emotion, why not, at least it lets you guys know he cares, and there is nothing wrong with that. Keep your wins coming and with a bit of luck you can squeeze Crawley out, but it will take some doing. We had a bad day again on Saturday but bounced back tonight. Most of the crowd waited for PDC to see the last player off and then watch his emotion after a win for us against a good Torquay side. Very predictably DiCanio was full of emotion prior now to our Wembley date on Sunday. Nothing wrong with managers showing what it means to them, perhaps a few more should do so, it may bring about better standards of refereeing, but perhaps not in our life times though. Big smiley for you boys, keep winning, and squeeeze Fatty Evans out of the play off's, you CAN do it. the wizard
  • Score: 0

8:13am Wed 21 Mar 12

BigAlBiker says...

I hope Swindon keep beating all the others at the top, can only help us, time to stuff this lot on saturday and move up. I thought last nights game was good, two passing teams trying to play football.

COYY
I hope Swindon keep beating all the others at the top, can only help us, time to stuff this lot on saturday and move up. I thought last nights game was good, two passing teams trying to play football. COYY BigAlBiker
  • Score: 0

8:23am Wed 21 Mar 12

AylesburyOx says...

the wizard wrote:
At last, your manager showing some emotion, why not, at least it lets you guys know he cares, and there is nothing wrong with that. Keep your wins coming and with a bit of luck you can squeeze Crawley out, but it will take some doing.

We had a bad day again on Saturday but bounced back tonight. Most of the crowd waited for PDC to see the last player off and then watch his emotion after a win for us against a good Torquay side.
Very predictably DiCanio was full of emotion prior now to our Wembley date on Sunday.

Nothing wrong with managers showing what it means to them, perhaps a few more should do so, it may bring about better standards of refereeing, but perhaps not in our life times though. Big smiley for you boys, keep winning, and squeeeze Fatty Evans out of the play off's, you CAN do it.
Must admit I thought it was silly of Di Canio to come out in the week and berate supporters but fair play to him, your players and fans responded in a positive way.

We've played better and lost so I'll take the 3 points. Let's build some form to take in the playoffs!

Personally I'd rather face Crawley or Cheltenham in the play offs than Gillingham or Crewe as they are on the up and could have the momentum to turn teams over.
[quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: At last, your manager showing some emotion, why not, at least it lets you guys know he cares, and there is nothing wrong with that. Keep your wins coming and with a bit of luck you can squeeze Crawley out, but it will take some doing. We had a bad day again on Saturday but bounced back tonight. Most of the crowd waited for PDC to see the last player off and then watch his emotion after a win for us against a good Torquay side. Very predictably DiCanio was full of emotion prior now to our Wembley date on Sunday. Nothing wrong with managers showing what it means to them, perhaps a few more should do so, it may bring about better standards of refereeing, but perhaps not in our life times though. Big smiley for you boys, keep winning, and squeeeze Fatty Evans out of the play off's, you CAN do it.[/p][/quote]Must admit I thought it was silly of Di Canio to come out in the week and berate supporters but fair play to him, your players and fans responded in a positive way. We've played better and lost so I'll take the 3 points. Let's build some form to take in the playoffs! Personally I'd rather face Crawley or Cheltenham in the play offs than Gillingham or Crewe as they are on the up and could have the momentum to turn teams over. AylesburyOx
  • Score: 0

9:46am Wed 21 Mar 12

bigchet says...

good result in a hard game but why we sit back in the last quarter and defend when we have midfielders that should be pushing up and bossing the game is beyond me. cw was stressing the importance of discipline this week and then goes and shoots himself in the foot. the officials at this level are generally poor but we have to accept it and contesting their decisions wont help as if players do it they get a yellow and are then on a tightrope.we go into sats game full of confidence and capable of a good result.
good result in a hard game but why we sit back in the last quarter and defend when we have midfielders that should be pushing up and bossing the game is beyond me. cw was stressing the importance of discipline this week and then goes and shoots himself in the foot. the officials at this level are generally poor but we have to accept it and contesting their decisions wont help as if players do it they get a yellow and are then on a tightrope.we go into sats game full of confidence and capable of a good result. bigchet
  • Score: 0

10:44am Wed 21 Mar 12

New Manor rename says...

Agree. We keep piling pressure on ourselves by trying to defend a lead late on. We are excellent going forward and attack is the best form of defence. For some reason we lack in confidence and do not believe we are good enough to thrash any time. Keep attacking and stay positive.
Agree. We keep piling pressure on ourselves by trying to defend a lead late on. We are excellent going forward and attack is the best form of defence. For some reason we lack in confidence and do not believe we are good enough to thrash any time. Keep attacking and stay positive. New Manor rename
  • Score: 0

10:45am Wed 21 Mar 12

New Manor rename says...

Time? I meant team. You get the idea!
Time? I meant team. You get the idea! New Manor rename
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Wed 21 Mar 12

Manor Born says...

Anyone wondering why we let Midson go would have seen why last night. He looked disinterested and made no impression at all - despite playing against his old team. He had a point to prove and the only point he proved was that Wilder was right.
Anyone wondering why we let Midson go would have seen why last night. He looked disinterested and made no impression at all - despite playing against his old team. He had a point to prove and the only point he proved was that Wilder was right. Manor Born
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Wed 21 Mar 12

mandate says...

The fight to stay in the play-offs is proving to be quite a battle. 68 points was enough to secure the last play-off place last season. I feel this season that teams won't have secured a play off place before they have passed the 75 point mark.

This will mean that United will have to win at least 4 of their remaining 9 games.

Interesting that our final ponts tally last season was 63. With 9 games remaining, we are just 2 points off that tally.

We are a hard side to beat and apart from Crawley, we have lost the least amount of games in League 2.

The Cheltenham game will be very interesting. It is not a must win game and a draw can be considred a good result.

We are in a great position to make the play-offs, as we have home games against Torquay, Gillingham and Southend.

I think we have a good enough team to take us to Wembley again this season.
The fight to stay in the play-offs is proving to be quite a battle. 68 points was enough to secure the last play-off place last season. I feel this season that teams won't have secured a play off place before they have passed the 75 point mark. This will mean that United will have to win at least 4 of their remaining 9 games. Interesting that our final ponts tally last season was 63. With 9 games remaining, we are just 2 points off that tally. We are a hard side to beat and apart from Crawley, we have lost the least amount of games in League 2. The Cheltenham game will be very interesting. It is not a must win game and a draw can be considred a good result. We are in a great position to make the play-offs, as we have home games against Torquay, Gillingham and Southend. I think we have a good enough team to take us to Wembley again this season. mandate
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Wed 21 Mar 12

badger86 says...

mandate wrote:
The fight to stay in the play-offs is proving to be quite a battle. 68 points was enough to secure the last play-off place last season. I feel this season that teams won't have secured a play off place before they have passed the 75 point mark.

This will mean that United will have to win at least 4 of their remaining 9 games.

Interesting that our final ponts tally last season was 63. With 9 games remaining, we are just 2 points off that tally.

We are a hard side to beat and apart from Crawley, we have lost the least amount of games in League 2.

The Cheltenham game will be very interesting. It is not a must win game and a draw can be considred a good result.

We are in a great position to make the play-offs, as we have home games against Torquay, Gillingham and Southend.

I think we have a good enough team to take us to Wembley again this season.
Indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!
[quote][p][bold]mandate[/bold] wrote: The fight to stay in the play-offs is proving to be quite a battle. 68 points was enough to secure the last play-off place last season. I feel this season that teams won't have secured a play off place before they have passed the 75 point mark. This will mean that United will have to win at least 4 of their remaining 9 games. Interesting that our final ponts tally last season was 63. With 9 games remaining, we are just 2 points off that tally. We are a hard side to beat and apart from Crawley, we have lost the least amount of games in League 2. The Cheltenham game will be very interesting. It is not a must win game and a draw can be considred a good result. We are in a great position to make the play-offs, as we have home games against Torquay, Gillingham and Southend. I think we have a good enough team to take us to Wembley again this season.[/p][/quote]Indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! badger86
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Wed 21 Mar 12

New Manor rename says...

Agree. However, don't rule out automatic promotion. Lot's of football to play yet and lots against teams, currently, above us.
Agree. However, don't rule out automatic promotion. Lot's of football to play yet and lots against teams, currently, above us. New Manor rename
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Wed 21 Mar 12

OX26Hound says...

That was a very good game of football last night and - bar the strange decision not to award Wimbledon a penalty in the first half - for once the ref didn't really do much wrong. It made a nice change for the officials not to blindly go against us for once. As for Saturday, Cheltenham were the best visiting side I've seen at the Kassam this season, but something must be seriously wrong there, all of a sudden, judging by the way that they are freely dropping points at the moment. Time for the U's to take advantage, I hope, and move a step closer to cementing a playoff place!
That was a very good game of football last night and - bar the strange decision not to award Wimbledon a penalty in the first half - for once the ref didn't really do much wrong. It made a nice change for the officials not to blindly go against us for once. As for Saturday, Cheltenham were the best visiting side I've seen at the Kassam this season, but something must be seriously wrong there, all of a sudden, judging by the way that they are freely dropping points at the moment. Time for the U's to take advantage, I hope, and move a step closer to cementing a playoff place! OX26Hound
  • Score: 0

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