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Match Reports

Report | Dale 0-0 Oxford United

12 March 2019

Dale were held to a goalless draw by Oxford United at the Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday night.

In an hard fought 90 minutes, Bradden Inman saw Dale’s best chance of the first-half well saved and Ian Henderson was pipped by a Oxford defender as he went through on goal after the break.

At the other end, Andy Lonergan made some strong stops to keep the visitors at bay, as the spoils were shared.

Brian Barry-Murphy made two changes to his starting eleven from the weekend’s win over Shrewsbury Town.

Jordan Williams and Ethan Hamilton, back from a one-match suspension, replaced MJ Williams, suspended after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season in the win, and Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

In an even but scrappy first period, the visitors created the first chance of the game when James Henry saw a low shot saved by Andy Lonergan.

Williams dragged an effort wide of the near post, shortly before Dale were forced into their first substitution, when Ryan McLaughlin was replaced by Jimmy Keohane, making his debut, after picking up an earlier knock to the head.

He fired a fierce effort goalwards from 30-yards shortly after coming on, which flew narrowly over the crossbar.

Sam Long had an effort deflected wide, whilst Marcus Browne turned a right-wing cross wide of the near post.

Dale’s best chance of the half came when Ian Henderson latched on to Kgosi Ntlhe’s superb through ball. He squared for Bradden Inman whose first-time shot was well saved by a strong hand from Simon Eastwood, before he blocked Inman’s follow up.

Lonergan had to produce a fine fingertip save to keep Dale level, turning Curtis Nelson’s header from a corner onto the face of the crossbar, before the danger was cleared.

At the other end, in the third minute of added time, Nelson was involved in a Dale penalty claim when he challenged Inman, but the referee deemed it to be a good tackle.

Both sides struggled to create a clear cut chance at the beginning of the second-half, as Henderson fired off target and Rob Dickie saw a header deflected wide for the visitors.

Williams had a low effort saved after doing well to control a diagonal ball and step inside, whilst Ntlhe sent two headers over from Bunney corners.

Gavin Whyte fired off target for the U’s, and a strong hand from Lonergan denied substitute Jerome Sinclair.

Ethan Hamilton saw a low effort turned behind for a corner by an Oxford defender, before substitute Aaron Wilbraham played a superb flicked through ball for Henderson to run onto, but Nelson got back in time to poke behind for a corner.

Henry had a shot from distance deflected wide and Josh Ruffels glanced a header wide late on for the visitors, and whilst it was Dale pressing for a late winner in added time, both sides were forced to settle for a point.


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