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Oxford United 0, Bradford City 2 (Davies 51, Wells 68)
Oxford United suffered their fifth straight defeat today, when Bradford scored from two set-pieces to take the points.
Left-flank corners from Gary Jones were turned in by Andrew Davies on 51 minutes and Nahki Wells on 68 to increase United's worrying run.
The first was simple - the centre half rising the highest to nod in from eight yards out.
The second was particularly poor from United's point of view - a flick from Rory McCardle at the near post was turned in by Wells two yards out. Both players were unmarked.
United, visibly low on confidence, did not muster a shot on goal until the 70th minute, when substitute Peter Leven saw his free-kick saved.
But that was as good as it got for United, who could have lost by more had keeper Ryan Clarke not produced a stunning one-handed stop to deny Will Atkinson on 76 minutes.
Chris Wilder made three changes to his team, one of which was forced.
Jon-Paul Pittman, injured at Cheltenham on Tuesday was ruled out, with Sean Rigg and Deane Smalley dropping to the bench.
James Constable came in, with Alfie Potter recalled and Luke O'Brien handed his debut.
It was a very scrappy first half, with neither side able to take assert their authority.
Both were quick to give away possession when they got the ball back, and chances were at a premium.
Kyle Reid had the first shot for the visitors, but his left-foot effort flew narrowly wide.
Constable tried to get on the end of a cross from Potter, but under pressure from McCardle, was unable to do so. The Oxford man claimed a penalty, but his appeals were waved away.
Clarke had a let-off after rushing out his area in the 18th minute.
Wells beat him to the ball wide on the left, but United's keeper retreated quickly enough to save his shot.
From the corner, United's No 1 was clearly fouled by James Hanson, but referee Andy Davies waved away Clarke's appeals.
It was to be, however, the start of a succession of fouls by the Bradford forward, who led with his elbow when challenging Michael Raynes on the stroke of half-time and was rightly booked.
In between, good work from Damian Batt gives Tony Capaldi the chance to shoot - but his 27th-minute effort went well wide.
Tom Craddock's ambitious free-kick struck the wall and Hanson headed wide from a deep left-wing cross.
Bradford almost made a superb start to the second period, but Clarke was equal to Gary Jones's free-kick, holding on well.
United's keeper then had to dive to his right to keep out Reid's shot.
But from the corner, Andrew Davies rose the highest to nod in from eight yards out.
United's crowd had been patient with the players, but frustration was beginning to go as more and more misplaced passes went astray - some basic ones.
With just under 30 minutes remaining, Wilder replaced O'Brien - who can be satisfied with his first appearance - and Heslop, with Leven and Rigg.
Constable lashed over a left-foot shot, but it at least got the crowd back in voice, urging their team forward.
There was now real urgency in United's play, but still they couldn't test John McLaughlin.
And they were then hit by a sucker punch as from another Jones corner on the left, a flick from McCardle was turned in by Wells two yards out.
Leven had Oxford's first shot on target in the 70th minute, but his free-kick was saved by McLaughlin.
Atkinson beat Michael Raynes and Leven on a surging run, but Clarke made a stunning one-handed save to keep out his effort.
And although United looked to get back into the game, were unable to manufacture a clear opening, and left the field to a chorus of boos.
Oxford Utd: Clarke, Batt, Raynes, Wright, O'Brien (Leven 62), Potter, Heslop (Rigg 62), Cox, Capaldi, Constable, Craddock. Subs: Smalley, Brown, Worley, Boateng, Marsh. Booked: Cox.
Bradford City: McLaughlin; McCardle, Davies, Oliver, Meredith; Atkinson, Jones, Doyle, Reid (Hines 83), Wells (Thompson 69), Hanson. Subs: Duke, Darby, Ravenhill, Connell, McHugh. Booked: Hanson.
Referee: Andy Davies.
Attendance: 6,032 (393 from Bradford).
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