OXFORD United’s shot at hosting Swansea City in the new year disappeared as they paid the price for failing to kill off Tranmere Rovers in their FA Cup second-round replay.

Dominant on the night, they went ahead through Alfie Potter’s fine header, but were stung twice by the home side, who won 2-1 thanks to goals from Kayode Odejayi and Max Power.

United, who had led by the same scoreline in the original tie, forged plenty of promising moments, but wayward finishing came back to haunt them.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for skipper Jake Wright, who was hoping for a mouth-watering third-round tie against Premier League opposition.

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He said: “I’m gutted. We’ve done enough to win the game, but not taken our chances.

“We haven’t played against a big team at home since I’ve been at Oxford, so it would have been really good for the club.

“We’re really disappointed and I think we’ve let ourselves down a bit.

“It wasn’t through the want of trying, it just didn’t seem to fall for us in the two games and we’ve done enough in both to win the tie.”

Head coach Michael Appleton was left to rue the way his side could not capitalise on their best moments, particularly in the opening half-hour.

Appleton said: “I think we were a little bit naive at times, certainly in the first half when we had really good possession of the ball and we got into the final third in three-versus-three situations and weren’t clinical enough.

“When things like that happen you give an opportunity for the opposition to get back in it.”

The U’s boss also defended his decision not to use any substitutes.

Appleton, who faced similar questions on Saturday, when he kept faith with the side, who won in the 90th minute against Bury, said: “I thought my options on the bench were a little bit limited, but everyone thinks you can do the job better than you can.

“Luckily on Saturday I think I was right to not do anything and we got the winner.”

He added: “On another night we would’ve won this game comfortably and that’s a fact.”

  • OXFORD United’s youngsters have had their FA Youth Cup third round tie against Manchester City tomorrow night switched to City’s new 7,000-seater training facility.


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