Report: Oxford United 1-1 Stevenage

Boro pick up a hard-earned point in Oxfordshire…

As Alex Revell took charge temporarily, Stevenage made the trip to Oxford United with just two games remaining of the League One campaign. It was a rare Friday night fixture for Boro as the Sky Sports cameras made an appearance for this big League One clash.

Craig MacGillivray started between the sticks, with a back four of Kane Smith, Terence Vancooten, Carl Piergianni and Nesta Guinness-Walker stood in front of him. Harvey White, Louis Thompson, Nick Freeman and Jordan Roberts made up a midfield four as Jamie Reid and Kane Hemmings led the line.

Stevenage played some nice football in the opening stages as they looked to get the ball forward and surprise the hosts. Jamie Reid looked as lively as ever as he aimed to get in behind the defence, but no real chance came his way.

Oxford had a couple of decent chances down the other end, firstly with Josh Murphy striking low and hard into MacGillivray’s hands from the edge of the area, before Sam Long’s header flew past the post. Thirty minutes had been played though, and the deadlock was yet to be broken.

That was until the 32nd minute as Boro opened the scoring to the delight of the travelling support. Nick Freeman received the ball on the left flank and delivered a threatening low ball to the front post, forcing Oxford’s Sam Long to turn it into his own net.

The pressure was all on Oxford as Stevenage looked to frustrate their opponents in the latter stages of the first half. The hosts had two huge chances within the space of thirty seconds in their final attack of the half.

First, Cameron Brannagan’s free-kick was well kept out by Craig MacGillivray, and then from the resulting corner, Marcus Browne fired wide from close range as the referee blew his whistle for half-time.

Stevenage went into the second half a goal up as the hosts had all the work to do if they wished to pick up a result.

Oxford certainly came out the gates firing as they had several close efforts on goal in the opening stages.

Just before the hour mark, they were awarded a penalty as Carl Piergianni was deemed to have fouled Ruben Rodrigues just inside the area. Up stepped Cameron Brannagan who fired home to level the scoring from the penalty spot.

Alex Revell then made his first substitution of the evening as Jamie Reid made way for Ben Thompson, with Jordan Roberts moving up top alongside Kane Hemmings.

Craig MacGillivray performed exceptionally well all evening and was called into action once again as Oxford broke on the counterattack, getting into position superbly to deny a second goal.

Down the other end, Boro looked to pounce as Kane Hemmings latched onto a perfect through ball, before seeing his effort cleared. It then fell to Ben Thompson inside the area who striked low and hard, but his shot deflected inches wide of the mark.

Elliott List then replaced Nick Freeman with ten minutes to go.

Oxford desperately needed a goal to remain strongest contenders for the play-offs, but Stevenage were defending incredibly well in order to prevent a winner.

Five minutes of additional time were held up by the Fourth Official, with the scoreline still at 1-1. Oxford threw absolutely everything at Boro, but they remained professional and resilient.

Two final changes were made to see out the game as Dan Sweeney and Nathan Thompson replaced Jordan Roberts and Harvey White.

Stevenage ultimately reaped the rewards of their hard work as the referee blew his final whistle to send them home with a great point.

Onto our final game of the season as Cheltenham come to town next Saturday.

Attendance: 9,174 including 367 away.

Latest news
Related news