Boro 0 Oxford United 0 - full time

Woodwork hit twice in opening minutes but game ends goalless

1min – Michael Bostwick hits it first time, with almost no back lift, and it slams into the bar, leaving the woodwork shaking. Great strike. Seconds later Ben May gets in behind the defence, and he tries to get to the ball but Ryan Clarke is out early and catches at head height.

2min – Oxford then break away, and Tom Craddock pulls the ball hack in the box tricking his marker and he shoots across Chris Day and it hits the inside of the post but bounces clear.

9min – Craddock holds off Scott Laird, and gets a shot away but it’s low and Day collects at near post.

12min – Craig Reid’s crosses into the box for Boro team-mate May but it’s headed out as far as Bostwick who takes a touch, and sets up Lawrie Wilson on the edge of the box who slices his shot into the side netting with his right peg.

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17min – Ball in from the right, and James Constable is unmarked at the far post. He volleys it into the ground and it’s off target. Awful miss for a striker of his quality.

22min – Good spell of pressure ends with Ronnie Henry crossing for May and although he gets underneath it he expects the man in front to get a touch, but he doesn’t and May misses it.

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24min – Wilson is seeing more of the ball and running towards the Oxford box, he puts the ball square to Reid whose shot is deflected out for a corner by Simon Clist.

40min - Oxford looked for revenge on May who is booked for a challenge on Jake Wright with three late challenges, before Paul McLaren goes in two-footed and is booked.

43min – Constable and Craddock up top, and the former passes to the latter who runs to the edge of the box, cuts inside and shoots inches wide of Day’s right post.

45+2min – The referee blows the whistle with Boro in a good position. Wilson has a throw-in near the corner flag on the left, but he takes far too long as he’s not pleased with his runners making space. It takes around 30 seconds, the whistle goes and Wilson, Laird and Roberts get into a heated debate about it as they walk off.

47min – Mark Roberts climbs over Constable 25 yards from goal, but the referee allows play to continue and Simon Hackney makes space for himself for the shot but it’s straight at Day’s chest.

49min – Laird has a shot after Stacy Long pulls the ball back to him on the corner of the box but his shot is at the far corner where an Oxford centre-back retreats to clear off the line.

54min – Reid gets the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal, and then sends it wide to Long who flicks the ball onto his right but shoots far too wide.

56min – Ronnie Henry crosses deep from the halfway line for May, but he’s sandwiched on the edge of the box and can’t quite get anything on it.

58min – Constable beats Laird on the left to a pass and flicks it into the box. Bostwick, tracking back, gets a foot to it to knock it away but Antony Tonkin is there to fire over.

72min – Rushed clearance by McLaren sees Bostwick pass to Reid whose low shot is hopefully, but off target.

74min – Bostwick shoots had and low, but McLaren blocks for Oxford.

76min – David Bridges sends a nice, weighted ball out wide to Wilson who heads towards goal. At the edge of the box he feeds Rob Sinclair who takes a touch but he’s got too much to do with his right peg and he shoots too high.

84min – Bridges starts a move, and a Laird run and a Peter Winn cross later he finishes with a header from just inside the box but it’s wide.

Boro (4-4-2): Day, Laird, Henry, Ashton, Roberts, Long (Sinclair, 66), Bostwick, Bridges, Wilson, May (Harrison, 66), Reid (Winn, 72). Subs: Bayes, Charles, Foster, Daley.

Oxford (4-4-2): Clarke, Tonkin, McClaren, Wright, Hackney (McLean, 64mins), Clist, Worley, Purkiss, Payne (Hall, 63mins), Constable (Midson, 79), Craddock. Subs: Sangare, Heslop, Hall, Potter, Eastwood.

Referee: P Crossley.

Att: 2590 (767 away fans)

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