Football: Oxford 4 - 2 Rochdale
Date published: 28 November 2018
Rochdale went down to a crushing defeat at Oxford as Keith Hill’s side shipped four goals in an entertaining game at the Kassam Stadium. The U’s raced into a 2-0 lead with two goals in three minutes thanks to Jamie Mackie and James Henry.
Dale improved and halved the deficit on the half hour mark when Simon Eastwood could only parry Callum Camps’ powerful 30 yard free-kick with Ian Henderson slotting home the follow up. The home side regained their two goal advantage when the dangerous Marcus Browne beat Harrison McGahey at the near post to slot in a third. Camps’ speculative dipping shot fooled Eastwood as Dale started to look the more dangerous until Browne got his second and Oxford’s fourth when he raced through to dink over Lillis.
Keith Hill made five changes to his starting line-up as he looked to make it back-to-back wins after victory over Accrington at the weekend. Jim McNulty, Connor Randall, Oli Rathbone, Sam Hart and Aaron Wilbraham were given starts in a change in formation.
The home side, who lost for the first time in ten games at the weekend, went ahead with two quick fire goals after just 14 minutes. Cameron Brannagan’s dangerous corner was turned at goal but Lillis stopped the ball on the line with Mackie finishing from close range. Browne almost doubled their advantage when he was foiled by Lillis who was quickly out.
Oxford did get their second goal when Wilbraham gave the ball away on the half-way line with Browne beating McGahey for pace and pulling the ball back for Henry who slotted home from 12 yards out.
Henderson made it 2-1 when he seized upon some poor goalkeeping from Camps’ free-kick; coolly finishing from six yards out.
Keith Hill will have wanted a steady start to the second half but Oxford extended their lead just seven minutes in. A quickly taken throw in on the right picked out Hanson with the full back pulling the ball back for Browne, who stole in ahead of McGahey to slide the ball in.
Camps got his second of the season with a speculative shot from distance that completely bamboozled Eastwood when it dipped and squirmed under him.
Rochdale were starting to look the more likelier to add to the scoresheet but when Calvin Andrew got in Henderson’s way when through on goal, you just knew it wouldn’t be their night.
With Dale pressing, Oxford got their fourth when Browne outpaced the Dale defence before clipping the ball over Lillis to finish the scoring.
Keith Hill wasn’t a happy man at the full time whistle as he now prepares his team for an FA Cup tie at home on Sunday against Portsmouth, kick off 2pm.
Rochdale: Lillis, McGahey, McNulty, Delaney, Hart (Done 73), Randall (MJ Williams 40), Camps, Rathbone, Adshead, Henderson (c), Wilbraham (Andrew 54)
Subs: (not used) Norman, Dooley, Perkins, Rafferty
Oxford: Eastwood, Hanson, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels, Mousinho (c), Brannagan, Henry (Long 87), Whyte, Browne (Garbutt 90), Mackie
Subs: (not used) Mitchell, Norman, Smith, Raglan, Bradbury
Referee: Mr C Hicks
Assistants: Mr K Morris & Mr A Williams
Fourth Official: Mr S Butler
Attendance: 5,204 (139 from Rochdale)
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