Oxford MailKeeper crisis hits Oxford United (From Oxford Mail)

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Keeper crisis hits Oxford United

Oxford Mail: Oxford United keeper Wayne Brown twisted a knee yesterday forcing U’s boss  Chris Wilder to sign Connor Ripley on an emergency loan Oxford United keeper Wayne Brown twisted a knee yesterday forcing U’s boss Chris Wilder to sign Connor Ripley on an emergency loan

OXFORD United were last night forced to resolve a goalkeeping crisis just hours before their biggest match of the season.

The U’s acted quickly to sign England Under 19 stopper Connor Ripley on an emergency loan after Wayne Brown twisted his knee.

With first-choice Ryan Clarke already ruled out for up to a month with an abdominal muscle injury, No 2 keeper Brown had played in United’s previous two games.

But his injury, picked up in training, meant that the U’s had only youth team keeper Max Crocombe available for today’s crunch npower League Two clash against Southend, so boss Chris Wilder acted swifly to secure the signing of Ripley from Middlesbrough.

Son of former England winger Stuart, the 19-year-old has made two appearances in the Championship and will start today, in a match where anything other than a victory for the U’s could see their play-off hopes dashed with a game still to play.

However, if results go for them, three points would carry Oxford back into the all-important top seven ahead of the trip to Port Vale next weekend.

A big crowd is expected, desperate for the U’s to end a run of five games without a win – something Wilder is optimistic about.

He said: “I do believe we have a decent record in big games and when the time has come for us to produce a big performance, we’ve done it.

“We need to go and do it, we all understand that.

“If we can recreate some of the magical days and nights from the last three or four years at the Kassam then hopefully that’ll give us an extra push to get over the winning line.”

Selection will be critical and there are several options for the United boss to consider.

Damian Batt and Peter Leven are expected to shrug off injuries, but James Constable and Jon-Paul Pittman are doubts.

Wilder admitted the importance of the game meant considering gambling on players’ fitness, within reason.

He said: “It’s a time now where we can afford to take a few risks, but I can’t afford to be bringing players off after ten minutes, so we have to make a calculated judgement.”

Southend, who have already beaten United twice this season, arrive with the league’s best away record and still with a slim chance of automatic promotion.

TODAY'S SQUADS

Oxford Utd: from Ripley, Batt, Duberry, Wright, Davis, Chapman, Leven, Hall, Johnson, Rendell, Montano, Crocombe, Whing, Morgan, Pittman, Capaldi, Constable, Wilson, Tonkin. Southend Utd: from Belford, Clohessy, Phillips, Barker, Gilbert, Mohsni, Grant, Timlin, Hall, Harris, Eastwood, Ferdinand, Martin, Crawford, Prosser, Sawyer, Hills.

Comments (6)

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9:41am Sat 28 Apr 12

Joe1 says...

We seem to have many palyers who get injured so easily. Perhaps they have been around too long in this game.
Never mind we must put all that to one side & hope that it will not affect the confidence of the players. A 19 year old behind our defence?

"COME ON YOU YELOWS"
We seem to have many palyers who get injured so easily. Perhaps they have been around too long in this game. Never mind we must put all that to one side & hope that it will not affect the confidence of the players. A 19 year old behind our defence? "COME ON YOU YELOWS" Joe1
  • Score: 0

11:12am Sat 28 Apr 12

sprouts says...

"A 19 year old behind our defence?"

Joe1, we actually had an 18-year-old at the other hand, striking 5 goals and arguably being in better from than our so-called "talismanic striker".

With only a couple of hours to figure something out, I think this loan arrangement is a great achievement. Good luck to Ripley, and COYY!
"A 19 year old behind our defence?" Joe1, we actually had an 18-year-old at the other hand, striking 5 goals and arguably being in better from than our so-called "talismanic striker". With only a couple of hours to figure something out, I think this loan arrangement is a great achievement. Good luck to Ripley, and COYY! sprouts
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1:37pm Sat 28 Apr 12

yellowhoods says...

3 0 southend season over
3 0 southend season over yellowhoods
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Sat 28 Apr 12

Joe1 says...

Yes Sprouts. But there is a big difference between a fyoung forward & a goalkeeper. This lad has hardly any League keeping experience.
Yes Sprouts. But there is a big difference between a fyoung forward & a goalkeeper. This lad has hardly any League keeping experience. Joe1
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4:10pm Sat 28 Apr 12

sprouts says...

Joe1: yes, point taken. Just talking myself a bit into this "believing" thing, I think. ;)
Joe1: yes, point taken. Just talking myself a bit into this "believing" thing, I think. ;) sprouts
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Sat 28 Apr 12

yellowhoods says...

Hats off too swindon bigger club
Hats off too swindon bigger club yellowhoods
  • Score: 0

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