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Oxford Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 24/11/2005

RUSSELL Slade will be hoping that his side will put the disappointment of losing their excellent away record at Wycombe last weekend and gain all three points at Oxford on Saturday.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Previews > Oxford (a)

The Opposition

It's been ten years since Oxford won promotion from any league - that being their rise from what is now League One to the Championship as runners-up to Swindon. Since then it's been two relegations and little to cheer about, but the U's fans are keeping their fingers crossed this time around for a successful season. After winning just one of their opening eight league games, Brian Talbot's (left) men found a bit of form but that appears to have waned somewhat, in the light of one victory in their last seven league outings.

Their Squad
Oxford have some well-established lower league players in their squad. Goalkeeper Billy Turley has played most of his league football with Rushden, where he worked under his current manager. Defender Chris Willmott started out as a trainee at Luton but played many times for Wimbledon in their pre-Milton Keynes Dons days. Midfielder Stuart Gray is another player at the Kassam Stadium who has made the switch from Rushden. Tricky striker Eric Sabin (left) scored against the Mariners when he played for QPR, Steve Basham can be a handful on his day and well-travelled striker Lee Bradbury is a player to keep an eye on.

Key Player
Steve Basham began his career at Southampton before joining Preston after two previous loan spells. He never quite managed to establish himself as a first team player while at Deep Dale and so made the switch south to Oxford in August 2002. The 5'11'' striker has a strike rate of around one goal every three starts, and recently scored a hat-trick in an FA Cup first round replay against Eastbourne.

Recent Form

LBristol R (FAC)(h)0-1
LNewcastle (LC)(h)0-1
Currently 3rd in League Two.
WLeyton Orient (LDV)(h)1-0
WEastbourne (FAC)(h)3-0
DEastbourne (FAC)(a)1-1
Currently 15th in League Two.

Top Scorers

Gary Jones5
Michael Reddy5
Steve Basham5
Lee Bradbury 3
Leo Roget 3
Eric Sabin 3

Team News


  • Gary Croft should come in for the suspended Tom Newey at left back, and Simon Ramsden will continue at the back in the absence of Rob Jones.

  • Slade still has the option of drafting JPK Kalala back into the side at the expense of Ciaran Toner, and Calvin Andrew is also available in what will be his last game on loan from Luton. A loan player could also feature, but only if Slade gets his man.
  • Brian Talbot has a huge squad to choose from, and made two changes to the side to accommodate Leo Roget and Eric Sabin in the 1-0 LDV Vans win over Leyton Orient in midweek.

  • Loan signings Neville Roach and Scott Fitzgerald could win places in the side or on the bench, but Talbot also has options in Andy Campbell (on loan from Cardiff) and Lee Bradbury.
  • Probable Teams

    1Steve Mildenhall
    2John McDermott
    20Gary Croft
    4Simon Ramsden
    6Justin Whittle
    15Gary Cohen
    11Andy Parkinson
    18Ciaran Toner
    8Paul Bolland
    9Michael Reddy
    19Gary Jones
    19Billy Turley
    2Lee Mansell
    5Chris Willmott
    23Leo Roget
    3Matt Robinson
    7Chris Hackett
    4Barry Quinn
    10Chris Hargreaves
    32Adam Griffin
    18Eric Sabin
    9Steve Basham


    17Glen Downey
    7JPK Kalala
    22Calvin Andrew
    10Martin Gritton
    23Nick Heggarty
    1Chris Tardif
    14Jude Stirling
    29Andy Campbell
    8Lee Bradbury
    21Mark E'Beyer

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have faced the U's 25 times and have won nine of the encounters, with Oxford winning ten and there being six draws. The two teams have never met in any cup competition. Grimsby have lost just two of the last 13 fixtures - and they both came in the same season (1996/7) when Town lost 2-0 at home and 3-2 away.

    P 25 W 9 D 6 L 10 F 26 A 31

    Oxford Head-to-Head (52nd on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Grimsby were 1-0 down at half time but managed to turn things around in the second half to win the game 2-1. Matt Harrold equalised immediately after the break, and Andy Parkinson scored a fine goal to clinch victory.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, McDermott, Whittle, Forbes, Bull, Pinault, Coldicott, Fleming, Ramsden (Gritton 47), Harrold, Parkinson
    Subs (not used): Jones, Crane, Hockless, Soames

    Oxford Team: Tardif, Mackay (Wanless 81), Ashton, Robinson, Hackett, Quinn, Raponi (Diaz 89), Corbo, Cominelli, Mooney, Basham (Davies 68)
    Subs: (not used) Roget, Clarke

    Attendance: 5,625    Report


    Oxford appear to be a little unpredictable these days. They have only lost once at home all season - that being a 3-0 defeat against Wrexham (which was their first away victory of the season). Town will probably do enough to earn a draw.


    Recent Predictions

    Bristol R2-01-21
    Notts Co1-04-01
    Reader's POMs


    Click on the link for directions to the Kassam Stadium (left).

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