Oxford United were beaten by a strong Portsmouth team which meant that Appleton’s side are still to pick up any points this season.

The U’s dominated the first half with Danny Hylton coming close on a number of occasions, however the closest rattled off the post. Oxford also entertained the crowd with their beautiful new-look style of play as the U’s looked to unlock the Portsmouth defence. However the main talking point of the game came just before half-time when Hylton was seemingly tripped inside the penalty area leaving both sets of fans thinking a penalty was imminent. The referee waved it away. A lucky escape for Portsmouth.

After the break, the U’s continued a similar tempo to their first half performance and continued to impress, however they were caught on the break by a swift counter-attack from Portsmouth, which saw ex Premier League star Nicky Shorey cross for Portsmouth forward Craig Westcarr who bundled home. Portsmouth ultimately went 1-0 up and the demoralised Oxford were unable to respond. It therefore finished 1-0 and Oxford will be left wondering how they came away with nothing to show for their  efforts.

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Oxford United

George Long – Had a few nervous moments in goal today which almost cost Oxford however a good save to deny Westcarr made up for his errors. 7.0
 Joe Riley – Riley played well today as he was very sold defensively and also gave good support to the interchanging midfield in behind Morris on the right flank 8.0
 Jake Wright – Jake Wright played very well today as he contained the tricky Westward very well indeed. He was almost faultless in the air and was very unlucky to not obtain a clean sheet. 8.0
 Johnny Mullins – Mullin’s performance was almost a carbon copy of Wright’s as the centre-half pairing had a very solid game. 8.0
 Tom Newey – Newey really showed his critics what he can do as the highly criticised left-back had a very strong performance both in he defensive and attacking thirds 8.0
 Michael Collins – Collins once again was faultless from the first minute to the very last. The seasoned grafter was pivotal in the United midfield and opened up the game in Oxford’s favour. 8.5
 Josh Ruffels – Ruffels too had a good game. His job was to pull the strings and involve the forward players and he excelled in that role exceptionally. 8.5
 Danny Hylton – His work ethic was fantastic and he was very unlucky not to get on the score sheet. More so than that, Hylton really should have won a penalty as he was blatantly tripped in the Portsmouth area 9.0
 Danny Rose – Rose brought invention into the side and the Oxford number 10 had a lively game. Good performance from Rose. 8.5
 Junior Brown – Brown brought pace and trickery into the side however his efforts were unable to undo the Portsmouth defence. Brown also squandered a very good chance in the dying embers of the game which would have seen Oxford level the scoring. 8.0
 Carlton Morris – Oxford’s number 9 had a very quiet game but still held the ball up nicely and involved the wide midfieders 7.0

Substitutions

 Callum O’Dowda – O’Dowda had a quiet game after appearing from the subs bench and the tricky youngster failed to make an impact. 6.0
 Alfie Potter – Potter only appeared for ten minutes and had very few touches on the ball. 6.0
 Alex Jakubiak – The 17 year old striker had a big task on his hands to try and rescue a point for the U’s but could not find enough time on the ball. 6.0

 

Portsmouth FC

 Paul Jones – Made a number of smart saves to deny the Oxford attacks and had an overall good performance. 8.0
 Joe Devera – Had a fairly solid game and held the defensive line very well making it difficult for Oxford to penetrate. 7.5
 Paul Robinson – Robinson had a good game after letting a couple of free headers to be allowed in the opening exchanges of play. Other than that he played well. 7.0
 Ben Chorley – Chorley had a strong performance alongside Robinson but seemingly gave away a clear cut penalty in the first half. Luckily enough for him the referee waved it away. 7.5
 Ricky Holmes – The forward was lucky not to get sent off and didn’t seem to threaten the United defence at all 6.5
 Danny Hollands – Had a good game in the centre of the park but didn’t seem to make a significant impact in disputing the forwards. 7.0
 James Dunne – Dunne had a fairly good game but was overplayed by the opposing Michael Collins 7.0
 Nigel Atangana – Had very good work rate in the first half but seemed to tire in the second. This lead to some clumsy tackles being made and overall carelessness 8.0
 Nicky Shorey – Looked dangerous in attack as well as solid defensively. Managed to get the assist for Westcarr’s goal to top his performance 8.0
 Miles Storey – Storey had a very quiet game and didn’t give any extra options up front. Less than impressive from Storey.  6.0
 Craig Westcarr- Grabbed the only goal of the game to see of the U’s. This topped off a lively performance from the forward. 8.5

Substitutions

 Jack Whatmough – The centre half was brought on with 10 minutes to go and he managed to prevent the U’s from getting an equaliser 7.0
 Jed Wallace – Wallace brought liveliness into the Portsmouth side with his pace and trickery. This made it difficult for the U’s defence to handle 7.5
 Ryan Taylor – Had little time on the ball when he came on and didn’t impress that much. 6.5

 

Man of the Match

Danny Hylton – His energy and perseverance was key to Oxford’s promising performance. He should have won a penalty and was very unlucky not to score. 9.0

 


About Author

Aspiring sports journalist from Oxford. Also a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder of Oxford United. My job here is to supply brief match reports and player ratings of Oxford United players and the teams they oppose.