Oxford United hosted Bury on Saturday and came into the game on the back of a 4 game unbeaten run. However, Bury, who sit 10 places above Oxford, were on their worst run of the season, registering 1 draw and 4 losses in their previous 5 games. The first half was a flat affair. Both teams matched each other nicely so it made it difficult for the two sides to create chances. The hosts had the better of the chances with Hylton being fed through by Collins, with League Two’s top scorer forcing a good save from the Bury keeper Jalal. It was the visitors who came closest, however. On the stroke of half time, Danny Mayor had an effort on goal which was deemed to be handled by Mullins. The resulting effort from the free kick from Andy Tutte rattled Oxford’s crossbar. Both teams went into the break level, with Oxford seeing the majority of the ball but failing to muster any chances.

The second half played out with much more intensity. Bury began to relax, playing much better football than they had done in the first half and this paid off on 63′. Lowe and Hope combined brilliantly before forcing a brilliant save from Clarke who saw the ball fall kindly to Mayor who gracefully rounded Whing then rifled home. This sparked Bury into a surge of pressure. A Ryan Lowe header fell inches wide of the United upright and a speculative effort from 30 yards by Andy Tutte cannoned off the crossbar. The despondent U’s needed some inspiration and this came from an unlikely source on 70′. Hylton burst into the area and his cross was diverted in by Shakers man Craig Jones. This inspired Oxford into regaining control of the game and they ultimately put Bury under the cosh. Oxford left it late however. On 90′ Wes Burns beat the offside trap, and the pacey winger got to the byline before crossing to the unmarked Barnett who sealed the three points by diverting his diving header passed Jalal. Oxford had won it through Barnett who saw his loan expire just hours after the game. The target man had signed off his spell at Oxford by sealing three points and becoming a firm fan favourite.

Oxford United

 Ryan Clarke – Had little to do for the majority of the game. He was not at fault for the goal and when he was called for he was strong and commanding. Good performance. 7.5
 Joe Riley – Riley was pivotal in Oxford’s attack. His link up play was exceptional with the alternating wingers Burns and Hylton. 8.0
 Johnny Mullins – Mullins was strong in the air and contained forwards Lowe and Rose very well showing excellent composure 7.5
 Jake Wright – Mullins’ counterpart and captain, Wright was very consistent and linked up well with holding midfielders Whing and Rose in playing out from the back. 7.0
 Tareiq Holmes-Dennis – Youngster showed excellent maturity and great attacking intent. Also very solid defensively. 8.0
 Andy Whing – The game suited Whing’s playing style and he performed excellently. The grafter helped boss the midfield and was pivotal in United’s success. 8.5
 Danny Rose – Oxford’s Danny Rose seemed to mop up every second ball. The midfield maestro had a very good game. 8.0
 Danny Hylton – Hylton’s work rate was unmatched. He was aloe pivotal in both of Oxford’s goals to top off a man of the match performance. 9.0
 Michael Collins – Showed real attacking intent and helped win the midfield battle. Also showed good signs of creativity 7.0
 Wes Burns – caused the fullbacks hassle all game. Performance was topped off with a 90th minute assist on his debut 7.0
 Tyrone Barnett – Loan spell ended on a high. Tyrone Barnett secured all three points for the U’s in dramatic fashion with his last-gasp effort cementing fan favourite status 7.0


 Alfie Potter – Was not on the pitch long enough to give a rating N/A


Bury FC

 Shwan Jalal – Had a very nervy start to the game. His kicking was poor and he was lacking in confidence. He improved second half and pulled off a couple of fine saves 6.0
 Craig Jones – Handled Burns well and had a solid game but his day ended in disappointment after scoring an own goal and conceding so late on. One to forget for Jones. 6.5
 Adam El-Abd – Had a very solid game containing Barnett. Endured in a physical battle resulting in him getting booked 7.0
Nathan Cameron – Held his own and was strong in the air. Will be very disappointed conceding so late on 7.0
 Jimmy McNulty – Was persistently challenged by the wingers but helped keep out any potential threat. Good performance. 7.5
 Danny Mayor – Had a nervy first half but linked up very well with Lowe in the second. Also bagged a goal 7.5
 Tom Soares – Did well in midfield and his dispatch was good. However he failed to muster any creativity or inspiration into the side. 6.5
 Andy Tutte – Desperately unlucky not to score as he saw two speculative efforts hit the bar 8.0
 Robert Milsom – lively and pacey but final product was often poor 6.0
 Danny Rose – Had a very quiet first half and was consequently substituted at half time 5.0
 Hallam Hope – Also had a very quiet game and failed to challenge the United defence. 6.0


 Ryan Lowe – On at half time and made an instant impact being a pivotal part of Bury’s goal 7.0
 Chris Hussey – The defender could not inspire Bury into earning a point. 6.5
 Nicky Adams – Was largely ineffective when brought on from the bench. 6.0


Man of the Match

Danny Hylton – Work rate was exceptional and his pace and trickery managed to undo the Bury defence. 9.0

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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.

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