2023/24 Season Review Part 5

December was a busy month, with no fewer than eight games for United to see out the year.

December started well, with two consecutive wins. First, goals from Marcus McGuane in the first half and Billy Bodin in the second earned Oxford progression in the FA Cup as League Two Grimsby were knocked out. This was followed by a 1-0 win at Forest Green Rovers as Tyler Goodrham’s striker moved the team into the third round.

United suffered a heavy defeat at Peterborough United before one of the season’s more eagerly anticipated meetings, when Oxford travelled to the Madejski Stadium to take on Reading for the first time in 23 years. Ciaron Brown gave Oxford the lead, but former United striker Sam Smith equalised before half-time to ensure the honours were shared.


Ruben Rodrigues gave Oxford the lead against Burton Albion in the first half and he added a second goal with seven minutes remaining. There was still time for McGuane to score his second of the season to give the scoreline a more respectable look.

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After suffering last-minute heartbreak at Northampton Town in the last game before Christmas, the U’s welcomed Cambridge United to the Kassam Stadium on Boxing Day. Jason Cousins gave the visitors a half-time lead, but second-half goals from Goodrham and Brown, in stoppage time, earned the points for Oxford.

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The last game of the year was the visit of Derby County. Cameron Brannagan scored an early penalty and direct from a free kick to give United a two-goal advantage, but Craig Forsyth equalised on the stroke of half-time. Late goals from Liam Thompson and Eiran Cashin turned the game on its head and left the Yellows rueing what might have been.

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