In news that would likely get Queen Elizabeth II a bit piqued, Oxford United have today slayed 11 Swans. However, before Her Majesty hits the Roofe, it was only the FA Cup Third Round tie between Oxford United and Swansea City.
League Two Oxford United, who are performing well and sit third in the league table, denied Premier League strugglers Swansea passage into the Fourth Round draw. Upwards of 11,600 squeezed into Oxford’s 12,500-capacity Kassam Stadium, a crowd that will guarantee a tidy sum in gate receipts for the hosts and League Two promotion chasers.
Oxford refused to buckle under early pressure, including going behind to an exquisite goal born of skill and technique rather than earnest industry from Swansea’s diminutive forward Jefferson Montero (23′), who finished off a flicked ‘around the corner’ pass from Marvin Emnes with a cheeky back-heel flick past a stranded Slocombe in the Oxford goal.
Oxford levelled from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time and four minutes after the restart a goal from highly-rated Kemar Roofe (49′) gave Oxford an early 2-1 lead. This lead was extended to two goals as the pacey and skilled Roofe finished off a 59th minute Oxford counter-attack to put Oxford within sight of the next round and a potential tie against yet more higher-rated teams.
Swansea did pull one back from Bafetimbi Gomis (66′), which made for an entertaining last quarter of the game and one in which Swansea did rally as they chased the equalising goal that would have led to a replay. However, the rally came too late and Oxford stood strong and resisted the pressure from their more illustrious Premier League visitors to earn a deserved 3-2 victory and a place as ball number 16 in the FA-embossed red bag for tomorrow’s FA Cup Fourth Round draw.
Views from the sidelines – the managers’ views
Oxford manager Michael Appleton: “I’ve got to be delighted beating a Premier League side – but not just that, it’s the way we did it. I think a few people fancied us beforehand and I did too but we also wanted to play the same way we’ve been doing it all season and play with no fear. I’ve been saying since the start of the season that we’ve got three or four players who could play at a higher level and Kemar Roofe is one of them.”
Swansea manager Alan Curtis: “We made changes and there was a certain amount of rustiness but I am disappointed. We were poor for the first hour of the game. The team we picked was strong enough to win, but all credit to Oxford. They were the better team and deserved to win.”