OXFORD United conceded a stoppage time equaliser to draw 2-2 at home to Northampton Town.

Josh Murphy gave the U’s an early lead, only for the Cobblers to hit back via a Will Hondermarck header.

Home debutant Will Goodwin thought he had won the game for United when he nodded in with nine minutes to go, however Tony Springett struck two minutes into injury time, to ensure the sides shared the points.

We had a look at the key talking points from the game.

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Midfield set-up

The most eyebrow-raising part of Des Buckingham’s team selection was his three-man midfield.

With Marcus McGuane again ruled out due to a quad problem, and Jay Matete on the bench, Buckingham opted for Cameron Brannagan in a deeper role, while Billy Bodin and Ruben Rodrigues played either side of him in an attacking midfield.

Both Bodin and Rodrigues struggled at times though to have an influence on the game, particularly in the final third.

Bodin’s sloppy pass infield in fact led to the Cobblers move which Hondermarck equalised from.

Prior to going off injured, Brannagan looked solid enough in the defensive midfield slot, and used his deeper position to spray some lovely diagonal balls.

On the whole though, the midfield set-up didn’t quite have the desired effect, and the hope will be McGuane is back this weekend, in particular if Brannagan is ruled out.

Greg Leigh on the wing

The other interesting note from the team selection was Greg Leigh lining up on the left wing, with Joe Bennett behind him at full back.

Leigh got forward well and made the interception which led to the early opener from Murphy.

His run of goals at the beginning of the season got people asking whether Leigh could play more advanced, and it seemed to work against the Cobblers.

Leigh offers more physicality as a winger than the other options available to Buckingham, and it may be something to revisit, particularly when United are trying to see out games.

Oxford Mail:

Another goal for Murphy

In finding the net with an arrowed strike after six minutes, Murphy scored in successive home games.

Backing up his first ever league goal for the U’s, in the 4-2 win against Wigan Athletic last week, Murphy is adding end product to dangerous displays.

His time at United has in general been a frustrating one, but the attributes and experience he possesses meant there was always the potential for him to put in the performances he has done since returning from injury.

Impact from the bench

Two January signings linked up for United’s second goal, as Owen Dale did well to beat his man and hook in a cross for Goodwin, who found the bottom corner with a smart header.

The assist for Dale and goal for Goodwin should do both players’ confidence the world of good, after getting up and running for the U’s.