Saturday, 27 October 2012

PREVIEW: Wycombe Wanderers Away (27/10/12)

Oxford will be attempting to avoid a seventh straight defeat on the road this weekend when they take the field at Wycombe's Adams Park. But with just 30 miles separating the two teams, and around 2,000 yellows making the short trip, perhaps the away day blues will be less pronounced this weekend.

Wycombe, who spent much of the summer months enduring a protracted takeover from their Supporters' Trust, started this season poorly, eventually sacking manager Gary Waddock and replacing him with veteran Gareth Ainsworth as caretaker manager. Results have improved somewhat since then, but the Chairboys are still perilously close to the relegation zone in 22nd, just one point above Aldershot. They were held to a goalless draw at home to basement side Barnet on Tuesday – a result which looks highly concerning given Barnet's awful start to the season.

Oxford will be hoping for the return of the unfortunate Lee Cox, who missed out in midweek due to illness for what is now his third spell on the sidelines due to his health. Jake Wright will surely return to his central defensive role following the suspension of Michael Raynes and Jon-Paul Pittman seems likely to feature in some form against his former club. Wycombe could be without top-scorer Dean Morgan – who spent a spell on loan at Oxford last season – as well as several other injury doubts.

There are a couple of significant links between the two sides, including the aforementioned Dean Morgan. Morgan spent the latter half of last season at the Kassam and mostly flattered to deceive, showing glimpses of talent but little effort and upsetting some fans with some rather ill-considered comments on Twitter. Another significant link is Jon-Paul Pittman, who spent two years at Wycombe and was particularly impressive when the Chairboys came to the Kassam in 2010-11, scoring one and setting up another, but was released at the end of the season and snapped up by Chris Wilder.

Several mental United fans are walking to the match from the Kassam Stadium to raise money for Helen & Dougas House hospice and the Oxford United Youth & Community Trust. They are setting off at 5:30 AM for the seven-hour trek, and you can still sponsor them by clicking HERE or by texting 'oufc96' followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070.

From the Vaults

Wycombe Wanderers v Oxford United, 8th April 1996

Oxford made only their second ever visit to Adams Park in the midst of their unstoppable run to promotion under Denis Smith. The celebrations in front of the packed-out away end after the final goal remain one of the iconic images from that season.

Also This Weekend

The ladies' excellent eight-game winning run finally came to an end last weekend, as they were held to a draw at home to Exeter City. They will hope to embark on a new winning run with a trip to Havant & Waterlooville on Sunday. The reserves are also hoping for an improvement over last weekend after losing 3-1 to Gosport Borough, and will be a hoping for a swift return to winning ways against a Newbury side that have been unimpressive so far.

The youth team's winning run continued in spectacular style last weekend with a 9-2 pasting of Hereford United. They make the trip to Cheltenham for Saturday's cup match, having beaten them 4-2 in the league just a few weeks ago.

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