Oxford’s play-off hopes dented with Stevenage draw

Cameron Brannagan’s penalty was his 11th goal of the season

Oxford United squandered a great opportunity to strengthen their bid to reach the play-offs when they could only manage a draw at home to Stevenage.

It leaves them in sixth place in League One, three points ahead of Lincoln, who have a game in hand and superior goal difference.

Stevenage, who lost manager Steve Evans to Rotherham this week, held out for a point despite not having a shot on target – they scored through an own goal – and being under constant pressure.

Stevenage took the lead against the run of play in the 32nd minute when defender Sam Long, pressured by Kane Hemmings behind him, turned Nick Freeman’s left-wing cross into his own net.

The U’s felt they should have had a penalty when Ruben Rodrigues threaded a pass through to Marcus Browne, who looked to be fouled by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray in a race to reach the ball.

But referee Tom Nield ignored Oxford’s appeals for a spot-kick.

They were awarded one in the 58th minute, though, when Carl Piergianni brought down Rodrigues on the edge of the box after the Portuguese forward got goalside of him. Cameron Brannagan converted.

The home side dominated the first half, with MacGillivray saving Rodrigues’s fierce drive, Long glancing a header just wide at a corner, and Mark Harris nodding wide from a good position.

The second half saw much of the same, MacGillivray saving from Finn Stevens and from Josh Murphy when he raced through.

Stevenage nearly won it late on as Long cleared off the line and then a shot was deflected off a defender and against a post.

Report supplied by PA Media.


Oxford Utd

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Cumming
  • 15Stevens
  • 2Long
  • 3Brown
  • 22Leigh
  • 8Brannagan
  • 11BrowneSubstituted forDaleat 64′minutes
  • 20RodriguesSubstituted forBodinat 72′minutes
  • 19GoodrhamSubstituted forHenryat 72′minutes
  • 23Murphy
  • 9M Harris


  • 4Thorniley
  • 10Bodin
  • 12Bennett
  • 13Eastwood
  • 14Smyth
  • 17Henry
  • 30Dale


Formation 4-4-2

  • 12MacGillivray
  • 14SmithBooked at 88mins
  • 15VancootenBooked at 10mins
  • 5Piergianni
  • 22Guinness-WalkerBooked at 71mins
  • 10FreemanSubstituted forListat 80′minutes
  • 23Thompson
  • 18WhiteSubstituted forThompsonat 90+2′minutes
  • 11RobertsSubstituted forSweeneyat 90+2′minutes
  • 19ReidSubstituted forThompsonat 60′minutes
  • 29Hemmings


  • 4Thompson
  • 6Sweeney
  • 9List
  • 20Pressley
  • 24Thompson
  • 41Mitchell
  • 44Evans

Tom Nield


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