Oxford United 2 Charlton Athletic 1
Had a banana skin written all over this one, yet our lack of ruthlessness in front of goal surfaced again. Losing Igor Vetokele was a blow, and we have to hope it was just a knock as he has got better with each game, and Lyle Taylor is so much better with a striking partner.
We dominated early proceedings, and took a deserved lead when Aribo was brought down, and Taylor finished from the spot. After that listening at home it looked like a case of how many, except in our case it is never going to be many.
Sure enough in a few blinks of the eye Oxford were ahead. Both goals well finished, one from a corner and one from a free-kick.
Yet still we continued to take the game to them and in the 2nd half when they had their keeper sent off we kept peppering their goal and forcing corners but to no avail.
Then the referee evened up the sides and sent Chris Solly off, which the club will dispute, and that was really that. Disappointing all round but moods were lifted with Fleetwood’s late equalizer at home to Peterborough secured our play-off place.
Addicks at the Kassam Stadium: Doctor Kish;
Bow: “Nothing changes, we have to win games. That’s all we ever try to do, win every game we play. It’s not about preparing for the playoffs, we won’t tackle it any different to what we have today.”
Elsewhere: Even if we had won Barnsley, Sunderland and Portsmouth all won later in the day. Sunderland beat Doncaster 2-0, Barnsley were 2-1 winners over Shrewsbury and Portsmouth won late at Burton. Bradford’s dire season finally ended in relegation after six seasons in League One. They lost at Coventry, who still have a slim chance of the play-off’s.
We need to protect injury prone players for the play offs and Taylor should be given a break to freshen him up. This would enable Bowyer to try something different up front. There are no viable options in the U23s so put a physical defender up front to occupy the opposition central defenders. Sarr and Pearce both deserve to be in the team so try Sarr up front.This would make us stronger at both attacking and defending set plays. Another option could be Stevenson who seems to know were the net is when in attacking positions, he has pace and has strengthened up noticeably during the season. These may be left field suggestions but Vetokele is so injury prone and Parker lacks quality. If we used a 4-3-2-1 system we could use Morgan and Aribo as the pair in support of Sarr. Now is not the time to play lightweights in attacking roles.