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2-0
14 April 2018 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Powell looks ahead to Oxford trip

The Blues boss covers all the hot-topics in the build-up to Saturday's game

13 April 2018

Chris Powell is targeting at least two wins from the remaining three away games.

Blues travel to Oxford United on Saturday on the back of an encouraging performance at Blackburn Rovers.

Ultimately last weekend’s game ended in defeat, something that Powell is hoping to change on Saturday.

“We’ll always have our way of playing and our style, but we have to tweak it now and again like we did for Blackburn and learn from the previous away game like I feel we did, because we didn’t turn up at Plymouth.

“We went to Blackburn and gave them a really good game. They should finish first or second and they’re talking about getting away with it which is pleasing, but ultimately, you’re judged on getting points to try and make your own situation better.

“We’ve got three away games and I’m targeting at least two to win. I think we can win at least two of them.

“It won’t be easy, and we need to score in the second half which I didn’t know until last week.

“That’s another stat that is beyond me and needs changing. Our fans would be going home at half time in some of our away games. We don’t want that, and I know they won’t!

“We’ve learnt in the last few games but they’ve been two defeats. We can’t keep learning and losing because that’s not a good equation.

“The next step is picking up points, and the players know that. We’re capable of going to Oxford, Oldham and Bradford and picking up the wins I feel we should get.”

Oxford are in a precarious situation with their future in Sky Bet League One not assured.

And Powell will be hoping to take advantage of their uncertainty this weekend.

“Karl has gone in and he has a way of playing. He will be looking to get a result after a couple of defeats and a couple of draws.

“They will be looking to get that boost they need and I don’t want to give that to them, so in some ways we can do our best to put the pressure on them early in the game.

“They have some good footballers. I’ve always looked at them throughout the course of the season, and there’s two or three players that can really handle the football.

“They’ll play in a certain style and they had the heartbreak of an injury-time winner against Fleetwood, which is never great because we had the game watched by Kevin Keen who said they performed pretty well.

“We know they have quality in certain areas and we have to make sure that we don’t let them or allow them to build and build their confidence because that could make it a tough game.

Blues have not lost in 90 minutes against the U’s in their last 10 outings, but that is not something Powell is placing any importance on.

“I always think they are a bit quirky them stats because it’s different players, different managers, tactics, formations.

“We played Gillingham not long ago and everyone was saying we don’t do well against them and won 4-0.

“It can be a bit misleading but we will take any positive that comes our way and if that’s the case then let’s hope we can continue that.”

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Match Reports

Match Report: Oxford 2-0 Southend

14 April 2018

Oxford United recorded their first win under new boss Karl Robinson as a disappointing afternoon for Blues ended with a 2-0 defeat at the Kassam Stadium.

It was a nightmare of a first-half that killed it for Chris Powell’s side who went behind in just the sixth minute when James Henry found the net after Ryan Ledson had been denied.

Southend then lost two defenders in quick succession with both Ben Coker and Michael Turner going off injured and Blues’ reshuffled back-line conceded a second before the break through Ricardinho.

Dru Yearwood hit the post just before the interval and Simon Cox was denied by a superb reaction save from Simon Eastwood in the second-half but Blues were unable to break down the home side as Southend failed to score for the third successive game on the road. 

The win for Oxford sees Karl Robinson pick up his first maximum since taking over as Yellows boss last month while also ending Oxford’s 10-game winless run against Southend in all competitions.

Defeat for Chris Powell’s side meant Southend’s miserable away form continued with only League Two-bound Bury having a worse record on the road this season.  

Having played so well away at promotion-chasing Blackburn Rovers last weekend, Powell will have been disappointed to see such a contrast in performance just seven days later.

Powell was made to make one enforced change following that defeat to Blackburn with Anthony Wordsworth coming in to replace Sam Mantom who picked up a thigh injury in training on Friday.

Oxford themselves were coming into this game off the back of a 1-0 defeat – at home to Fleetwood – and they made two changes with Jon Obika and James Henry coming in, and it was the latter who gave the home side an early lead.

Seconds after Ryan Ledson felt his far-post header had crossed the line, Henry picked up the ball inside the penalty area before shooting across the face of Mark Oxley and hitting the back of the net with less than six minutes showing on the clock.

Blues responded well to going behind but were dealt a double blow within the space of a couple of minutes as both Ben Coker and Michael Turner were forced off with injuries before half an hour had even been played, with Elvis Bwomono and Anton Ferdinand coming on.

And Southend’s reshuffled back-line were immediately put to the test as the home side won back-to-back corners. The first saw Rob Dickie’s far-post header parried away by Oxley before John Mousinho hit the side netting from a tight angle.

It looked like it would remain 1-0 at the interval but Karl Robinson’s side doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time when Obika teed up the run of Ricardinho whose shot was deflected through the legs of Oxley to give the home side a two-goal advantage. 

It had been a nightmare of a first-half for the visitors and not even Dru Yearwood’s curling effort could lift Southend before the interval as he saw his strike come off the inside of the post to ensure the deficit remained at two.

September against Fleetwood was the last time Blues scored a second-half goal away from home and it looked like they were going to be shut out again when Jason Demetriou’s cut-back found Simon Cox, only for the striker to be denied by a superb reaction save from Eastwood.

Southend had no choice but to break that scoring duck if they were to salvage anything from the Kassam but they almost fell further behind when Dickie’s header was saved by Oxley before Mousinho struck the foot of the post with the rebound.

Cox went close to making it a nervy finish for the home side with a scissor kick that flew over the crossbar and Shayon Harrison, brought on as a sub for Michael Kightly, forced a save from Eastwood in injury time but it was Oxford who deservedly took the three points.

Oxford United XI: Eastwood, Ledson, Thomas (van Kessel 87’), Brannagan, Dickie, Henry (Mehmeti 90+2’), Kane, Obika, Ricardinho, Mowatt (Nelson 79’), Mousinho (C). Subs Not Used: Shearer, Martin, Carroll, Napa

Blues XI: Oxley, Coker (C)(Bwomono 25’), Wordsworth, Turner (Ferdinand 29’), Kightly (Harrison 65’), Timlin, Cox, McLaughlin, Yearwood, Demetriou, White. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Ladapo, Robinson, Wright

Referee: Darren Handley

Assistants: Ben Cobb & Lisa Rashid

Fourth Official: Matt Foley

Scorers:

Oxford United: James Henry 6’, Ricardinho 45+2’

Southend United: None

Yellow Cards:

Oxford United: Rob Dickie 17’, Ryan Ledson 53’, Alex Mowatt 77’

Southend United: None

Attendance: 7,332

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Ticket News

Oxford Tickets Off Sale Friday

All the ticket information you need ahead of Saturday's game

12 April 2018

Tickets for Blues' game against Oxford United come off sale at 3pm Friday.

We have sold over 530 tickets for the game against Karl Robinson's side.

Tickets will be available on the day, cash only, from the North East Ticket Office at the same price as the advance sales (prices below).

Blues fans will be based in the North Stand for the game. There are three wheelchair user tickets, with a free assistant ticket if required - these are charged at the age relevant price.

Prices:

 

Advance & Matchday prices

Adults

£24.00

Seniors (65+)

£17.00

Student

£16.00

18-21

£16.00

Under 18

£14.00

Under 13

£10.00

Under 7

£6.00

There are 2,000 free car parking spaces available, but these are on a first come first served basis.

For Oxford travel information click here.

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