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Match Reports

Report: Oxford 0-0 Wycombe

Stalemate at the Kassam.

11 September 2021

Oxford and Wycombe settled for a share of the spoils in a goalless draw with few notable chances at the Kassam Stadium.

Sam Vokes and Jordan Obita went closest for the Chairboys in the first half but were denied by Jack Stevens, while David Stockdale kept out United's best effort when Cameron Brannagan curled towards the top corner from 25 yards.

Gareth Ainsworth was able to call Anthony Stewart back into the side after the defender missed the 3-1 defeat at Sunderland last time out, while Brandon Hanlan made his league debut for the Blues in attack alongside Sam Vokes.

The hosts had the first sight of goal, bundling an early corner past David Stockdale's left-hand post on five minutes, and Anthony Forde then drilled tamely at the keeper as the U's kept the ball alive following a counter-attack.

Oxford had a penalty appeal waved away on 10 minutes when Mark Sykes tangled with Joe Jacobson in the box, and Cameron Brannagan dragged a shot wastefully wide with the U's looking to capitalise on their strong start.

Wycombe hit back, coming close three times in the same phase when firstly Joe Jacobson's corner was turned goalwards by Brandon Hanlan and then Anthony Stewart,and blocked on the line, and then when Jordan Obita's snapshot was parried away by the keeper. As the ball broke loose, Garath McCleary's teasing cross took a deflection and was bravely cleared with two Wycombe attackers ready to pounce under the crossbar.

The best move of the game so far almost brought about the opening goal for the Chairboys, with Hanlan starting an excellent move with a sweeping ball out to the wing, where McCleary drove forward and returned it to Hanlan. He then fed Sam Vokes who stayed onside to unleash a stinging effort which was heroically tipped over the bar by U's keeper Jack Stevens.

But the game entered a lull soon after, with niggly fouls and free-kicks becoming the name of the game, though Jordan Obita saw a shot deflect behind for a corner and Jacobson's delivery at the second attempt flashed dangerously across the face of goal. A free-kick was given in any case for a foul on the keeper.

At the other end, Luke McNally headed harmlessly over the bar from a corner as the clock ticked towards 45, with neither side likely to have been too disappointed by the 0-0 scoreline at the break - the first time Oxford had failed to score a first-half goal in the league since April.

The second period started with a lack of intensity from both sides, with the Oxford fans only really stirring when a shot from distance bounced awkwardly for Stockdale and had to be parried behind for a corner.

Stockdale was called upon again to produce a flying save to tip away Cameron Brannagan's curling effort from 25 yards soon after the hour-mark, and Mark Sykes squandered a great opportunity when he squared the ball rather than shooting from a promising position, allowing Anthony Stewart to clear.

Gareth Ainsworth brought on Daryl Horgan for Brandon Hanlan with 20 minutes remaining, and Adebayo Akinfenwa entered the fray soon after, taking Sam Vokes's place up front.

He was in the wars straightaway, earning a bloodied nose in an aerial challenge, and Oxford then squandered a good opportunity on the break, with the final pass to Matty Taylor lacking convinction and giving Jack Grimmer the chance to recover.

At the other end, McCleary and Horgan teamed up impressively to enable the latter to drill a dangerous low ball across the face of goal, with Obita just unable to make up enough ground to reach it.

That was Obita's last involvement, with David Wheeler taking his place, while Oxford introduced Sam Long and Nathan Holland from the bench as Mark Sykes and Anthony Forde made way.

Akinfenwa headed McCleary's excellent cross over the bar on 89 minutes, and the eight minutes of added time gave both sets of fans hope of seeing a late winner for their side.

Oxford introduced striker Dan Agyei for Matty Taylor in stoppage time, but there was to be no late drama despite a couple of appetising set-piece opportunities, as both sides settled for the point.

Attendance: 9,082 (1,505 away).

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