Oxford Utd 2 (Constable 8, Kitson 90+1) Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Murphy 45+1)

Banbury Cake: Oxford Utd 2 (Constable 8, Kitson 90+1) Dagenham & Redbridge1 (Murphy 45+1) Oxford Utd 2 (Constable 8, Kitson 90+1) Dagenham & Redbridge1 (Murphy 45+1)

DAVE Kitson headed a late goal for the second league game in succession as Oxford United struck in stoppage time to beat Dagenham & Redbridge to stay top of the table.

The veteran rose highest to nod in David Hunt's cross, just as he had to earn a 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town a fortnight earlier.

This time his effort sealed a precious victory, which had appeared to have slipped from the home side's grasp.

United started brilliantly and James Constable's bicycle kick put them deservedly ahead on eight minutes.

But despite slicing through Dagenham repeatedly, they could not add to their advantage and out of nothing Rhys Murphy equalised with an exquisite chip on the stroke of half time.

The hosts never regained their fluency, but a spell of sustained pressure got its reward through Kitson at the death.

Jake Wright returned to the side after five weeks out with a hamstring injury, while Asa Hall came in after being ineligible for the FA Cup wins at Gateshead and Wrexham.

The pair replaced Matt Bevans and Scott Davies, with the latter forming part of the strongest bench Chris Wilder had been able to name for some time.

The United manager called on his side to emulate their dominant second half display from the draw at Fleetwood - and they delivered in a thrilling start.

For the opening half hour the hosts were utterly in charge, as Dagenham were ripped apart.

Josh Ruffels was the first to show, ghosting past two challenges before having a shot turned round the post by goalkeeper Chris Lewington.

From the corner Johnny Mullins had an effort deflected over, forcing another set piece.

Dagenham cleared the initial delivery, but when it came back in Mullins set up Constable to acrobatically volley the opening goal on eight minutes. It was the cue for a rampant spell, when it looked only a matter of time before the lead would be extended.

Ruffels had another shot well saved and Constable came agonisingly close to connecting with Kitson's cross after the forward had robbed Gavin Hoyte just outside the area.

United created openings virtually every time they won possession.

Lewington saved well from Constable, while both Williams and Kitson volleyed chances wide, all before the 30-minute mark.

Aside from a Zavon Hines shot from the edge of the penalty area which Ryan Clarke smartly parried, the visitors had barely threatened.

It looked as though they were going to be relieved to go in at the break just one goal down, but instead the Londoners came up with an equaliser in stoppage time.

There looked to be little danger when Murphy received the ball just inside the box, but as he ran towards the corner flag the former Arsenal trainee conjured a delicate chip which cleared Clarke and nestled in the far corner.

It stunned the home side, who might have found themselves behind early in the second half as Hines weaved into the area before seeing his shot blocked.

United patiently looked to play their way back into the game, but found Dagenham were a much more solid unit than in the first half.

For much of the half they were only able to threaten in patches, with blocked shots from Hall and Williams all they could muster.

Kitson also picked up a booking for an accumulation of offences. It was his tenth of the season, incurring a two-match suspension.

Sean Rigg was introduced from the bench and in the final 20 minutes United steadily increased the pressure.

The substitute quickly laid on a chance, crossing for Constable to strike a clean volley which was straight at Lewington.

Time ebbed away, but United came up with a grandstand finish in stoppage time, when Kitson finished off Hunt's cross to send the Kassam wild.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Williams (Smalley 84), Hall, Rose, Ruffels (Rigg 67), Kitson, Constable (Raynes 90).

Unused subs: Crocombe, Long, Marsh, Davies.

Dagenham: Lewington, Hoyte, Saah, Wilkinson, Ilesanmi, D'Ath, Ogogo, Howell, Scott (Dickson 84), Murphy, Hines.

Unused subs: Seabright, Connors, Shields, Saunders, Edgar Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire).

Attendance: 4,901 (194 visitors).

Comments (12)

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6:44pm Sat 14 Dec 13

oldun says...

Well done United - top 3 (great)

Fine goals from James and Dave . Some other very good performances

All that matters is that we are there at the end of the season (must avoid that playoff lottery) .

Happy days
Well done United - top 3 (great) Fine goals from James and Dave . Some other very good performances All that matters is that we are there at the end of the season (must avoid that playoff lottery) . Happy days oldun

7:48pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Alfie33 says...

Well done lads brilliant!!! Thought Hall played really well hope we keep him!!!! great to see us at the top...UP THE YELLOWS COME ON!!!!!!!!
Well done lads brilliant!!! Thought Hall played really well hope we keep him!!!! great to see us at the top...UP THE YELLOWS COME ON!!!!!!!! Alfie33

8:27pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Davos P says...

Great team effort to keep knocking on the door. Time to start making the Kastad a fortress. Magnificent strike from Beano.. Showing his immense value to the team yet again.
Great team effort to keep knocking on the door. Time to start making the Kastad a fortress. Magnificent strike from Beano.. Showing his immense value to the team yet again. Davos P

7:40am Sun 15 Dec 13

hairydean says...

Superb win not an easy team to play but were still top and to be there still after all injuries shows youth in club are building foundations for the future as for the senior players proof shows we now have a squad battling for the pleasure of wearing our yellow and blue respect to the fighting spirit should be shown from the fans oxford till I die and if you cant get the ball get the man that was the class of 80s and 90s now we have it again keep it up and better days lie ahead well done lads
Superb win not an easy team to play but were still top and to be there still after all injuries shows youth in club are building foundations for the future as for the senior players proof shows we now have a squad battling for the pleasure of wearing our yellow and blue respect to the fighting spirit should be shown from the fans oxford till I die and if you cant get the ball get the man that was the class of 80s and 90s now we have it again keep it up and better days lie ahead well done lads hairydean

7:53am Sun 15 Dec 13

oldun says...

Even allowing for Xmas shopping , it was a truly pathetic and worrying

home fan attendance

(about 2000-2500 down on what it should be) for a team which
(A) is on a superb run
(B) is top of the league and
(C) features Williams, Kitson (two of our best players for years) and an in-form Constable -

there must be a good reason for it (we averaged far more two season ago)

What is it?
Even allowing for Xmas shopping , it was a truly pathetic and worrying home fan attendance (about 2000-2500 down on what it should be) for a team which (A) is on a superb run (B) is top of the league and (C) features Williams, Kitson (two of our best players for years) and an in-form Constable - there must be a good reason for it (we averaged far more two season ago) What is it? oldun

8:33am Sun 15 Dec 13

Brenda Jackson says...

oldun wrote:
Even allowing for Xmas shopping , it was a truly pathetic and worrying

home fan attendance

(about 2000-2500 down on what it should be) for a team which
(A) is on a superb run
(B) is top of the league and
(C) features Williams, Kitson (two of our best players for years) and an in-form Constable -

there must be a good reason for it (we averaged far more two season ago)

What is it?
A combination of possible reasons for the fall in attendance, the main one (imho) is the below standard performances at home over almost two seasons, then there's the economic climate, and seasonally?

It will take time but if the team continues to play as they did yesterday -the stay aways will return. And, the Club have targeted the Plymouth match as 'The Big Match' -and so it might well be in terms of enticing people back in the new year as some of the 'stay aways' or 'part timers' will be in attendance for this- and so the chance to impress?
[quote][p][bold]oldun[/bold] wrote: Even allowing for Xmas shopping , it was a truly pathetic and worrying home fan attendance (about 2000-2500 down on what it should be) for a team which (A) is on a superb run (B) is top of the league and (C) features Williams, Kitson (two of our best players for years) and an in-form Constable - there must be a good reason for it (we averaged far more two season ago) What is it?[/p][/quote]A combination of possible reasons for the fall in attendance, the main one (imho) is the below standard performances at home over almost two seasons, then there's the economic climate, and seasonally? It will take time but if the team continues to play as they did yesterday -the stay aways will return. And, the Club have targeted the Plymouth match as 'The Big Match' -and so it might well be in terms of enticing people back in the new year as some of the 'stay aways' or 'part timers' will be in attendance for this- and so the chance to impress? Brenda Jackson

8:41am Sun 15 Dec 13

dorsetyellows says...

1. Christmas shopping .
2 . A growing amount of fans enjoy the away day experience .
3 . Until recently been poor at home.
4 . The all seater , 3 sided wind tunnel of a stadium . Soulless when small clubs bring a handful of fans.
5, The closing of the priory. Good place for a beer , music and food . Mix with away fans and banter.
6. Anti anything to line the pockets of kassam.
7. Too much football on the box , and oxford still playing in a poor league for too long . Hope this helps maybe understanding why I think we have lower crowds , I for one will be driving to York with my son , but didn't go yesterday !!!
1. Christmas shopping . 2 . A growing amount of fans enjoy the away day experience . 3 . Until recently been poor at home. 4 . The all seater , 3 sided wind tunnel of a stadium . Soulless when small clubs bring a handful of fans. 5, The closing of the priory. Good place for a beer , music and food . Mix with away fans and banter. 6. Anti anything to line the pockets of kassam. 7. Too much football on the box , and oxford still playing in a poor league for too long . Hope this helps maybe understanding why I think we have lower crowds , I for one will be driving to York with my son , but didn't go yesterday !!! dorsetyellows

8:54am Sun 15 Dec 13

smgpa03 says...

The falling attendances are getting very worrying - most of all because they are still falling, when we are top of the league. IMO, there are lots of reasons and most have been highlighted on this thread. Also, there has been no energy, vibe or anything creating interest and talking points around the club, the team or the performances. Having said that, the last couple of games have been a big improvement in terms of results and entertainment - sustain that and crowds will come back. With getting a big crowd on Boxing Day in mind - why are we making so difficult for people to get tickets ? anyone tried to book on line - you can't !!!
The falling attendances are getting very worrying - most of all because they are still falling, when we are top of the league. IMO, there are lots of reasons and most have been highlighted on this thread. Also, there has been no energy, vibe or anything creating interest and talking points around the club, the team or the performances. Having said that, the last couple of games have been a big improvement in terms of results and entertainment - sustain that and crowds will come back. With getting a big crowd on Boxing Day in mind - why are we making so difficult for people to get tickets ? anyone tried to book on line - you can't !!! smgpa03

12:12pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Richard Wickson says...

smgpa03 wrote:
The falling attendances are getting very worrying - most of all because they are still falling, when we are top of the league. IMO, there are lots of reasons and most have been highlighted on this thread. Also, there has been no energy, vibe or anything creating interest and talking points around the club, the team or the performances. Having said that, the last couple of games have been a big improvement in terms of results and entertainment - sustain that and crowds will come back. With getting a big crowd on Boxing Day in mind - why are we making so difficult for people to get tickets ? anyone tried to book on line - you can't !!!
I agree, I too have tried and it won't let me but you can book by phone, although the people on the phone can't explain why online booking won't work they are aware their is a problem with it.
[quote][p][bold]smgpa03[/bold] wrote: The falling attendances are getting very worrying - most of all because they are still falling, when we are top of the league. IMO, there are lots of reasons and most have been highlighted on this thread. Also, there has been no energy, vibe or anything creating interest and talking points around the club, the team or the performances. Having said that, the last couple of games have been a big improvement in terms of results and entertainment - sustain that and crowds will come back. With getting a big crowd on Boxing Day in mind - why are we making so difficult for people to get tickets ? anyone tried to book on line - you can't !!![/p][/quote]I agree, I too have tried and it won't let me but you can book by phone, although the people on the phone can't explain why online booking won't work they are aware their is a problem with it. Richard Wickson

2:07pm Sun 15 Dec 13

BigAlBiker says...

Today I am going to give Mr Wilder credit, he picked the right team and played the right way yesterday, I was impressed from the first to the last whistle and as others have said should have been home and gone by half time.

Let's hope we can stuff York next week and Plymouth on Boxing Day as our version of Berbatov (Kitson) will be having a break.
Today I am going to give Mr Wilder credit, he picked the right team and played the right way yesterday, I was impressed from the first to the last whistle and as others have said should have been home and gone by half time. Let's hope we can stuff York next week and Plymouth on Boxing Day as our version of Berbatov (Kitson) will be having a break. BigAlBiker

7:16pm Sun 15 Dec 13

darkskies says...

Beauchamp mummy? Dont you just miss him?!
Oxford battling performance and the Kitson effect is beginning to tell. 6 points from next two games should help us pull away from the chasing pack, set us up nicely for season finale and promotion.
Yellow till my final breath, 49 years and counting
Beauchamp mummy? Dont you just miss him?! Oxford battling performance and the Kitson effect is beginning to tell. 6 points from next two games should help us pull away from the chasing pack, set us up nicely for season finale and promotion. Yellow till my final breath, 49 years and counting darkskies

8:42pm Sun 15 Dec 13

OxRoxBox says...

For me that was the dream goal scorer result - Constable and Kitson! Well done fab and well played Hall ! Onwards and out of Div 4 - keep playing positive **** love you OUFC
For me that was the dream goal scorer result - Constable and Kitson! Well done fab and well played Hall ! Onwards and out of Div 4 - keep playing positive **** love you OUFC OxRoxBox

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