Tuesday 21st August 2012 ko 19.45
OXFORD UNITED 2 (Craddock 54 87)
SOUTHEND UNITED 0 Timlin sent off 27 (2nd booking)
Att 6,001 (290 away)
So many questions remain to be answered, but one statistic is beyond doubt, OUFC are top of League 2 and are yet to concede a goal. So no worries then? Hmmm not sure about that! Oxford’s cause was no doubt aided by Mike Timlin’s collection of the only 2 cards of the game, the last being an utterly daft trip on Jake Forster-Caskey.
Yet all the old frailties were there for all to see. The tendency to over-play, and as a consequence the failure to break defences down. For all the good work from the likes of Jake Forster-Caskey and Deane Smalley, it was the work of Alfie Potter, and the introduction of Tom Craddock for the unlucky Lee Cox that turned the game. Craddock’s impact was obvious, 2 top-class finishes to put the game beyond the visitors.
For me, and I’m sure others the man-of-the-match was Potter. He has the sudden turn of pace to frighten defenders, but as important is his abilty to “wriggle” past his markers. He was ultimately the difference between the two sides, and I do think Oxford may well have met Southend at a fortitous time. Starting the season with just one loanee keeper, Cameron Belford is hardly ideal. The question is now, what context do we put this victory? Time will tell.