Thursday, 17 October 2013

5 of the Best Oxford Comebacks

In the world of football what's better than winning? Winning against the odds, of course. There is little sweeter than snatching something from a game when all appeared lost, particularly if it happens to come right at the end of the match. So we thought we'd trawl our Youtube archives to bring you some of the finest comebacks engineered by various Oxford United sides through the years. Enjoy!

5-2 v Leeds United, 24th November 1984

The mighty yellows had started the season well and already had their eye on the Division Two title when fifth-placed Leeds came to the Manor for the first ever league encounter between the two clubs. Leeds, for their part, were looking for revenge after being dumped out of the League Cup by Oxford the previous season and raced to a two-goal lead. Gary Briggs pulled a goal back before half-time to reignite hopes of a result but few could have predicted what would follow after the break. Billy Hamilton equalised almost immediately after the restart before John Aldridge stole the show with an incredible hat-trick.

5-5 v Portsmouth, 3rd November 1995

As this match entered the final 20 minutes it appeared that Oxford would be on the end of a thrashing, having been completely dominated by Portsmouth for the majority of the game. In fact, they could have scored more than the five they did manage if not for an impressive display of goalkeeping from Paul Reece but they were nevertheless 3-0 up with half an hour played and it looked like things might get embarrassing. Dave Penney pulled one back but hopes of a comeback were shortlived as we shipped another at the other end, though Jim Magilton volleyed home to reduce the deficit to two goals once again. United looked to be dead and buried when Pompey made it 5-2 and when John Durnin netted a third Oxford goal in the 73rd it looked little more than a consolation. Magilton converted a penalty in injury time to bring it back to 5-4 and immediately from the restart Chrissy Allen seized on a rebound to cap a remarkable comeback as the yellows snatched a point.

2-1 v York City, 8th August 2009

The summer of 2009 was filled with promise as Chris Wilder rebuilt the side ready for a promotion challenge. Hopes were high going into the opening day clash with York but as the match entered the final minutes things had fallen a little flat. York deservedly led 1-0 after Richard Brodie broke free and were looking assured as United struggled to get into sort of rhythm during the game. Then, on 88 minutes, Matt Green was put through by Luke Foster and flicked over the goalkeeper to equalise. But the drama wasn't over there and with the game now into injury time Mark Creighton came up for a corner to fire in after chaos in the penalty area.

2-1 v Crawley Town, 1st December 2009

The 2009-10 season had drama aplenty but few matches could have topped this one. United were 1-0 down and struggling at the Broadfield Stadium after falling behind on 15 minutes. In desperation Chris Wilder chucked on James Constable, Alfie Potter and Onome Sodje late in the game in an attempt to reverse his side's fortunes but still it looked like we would be going home empty-handed. Then, with seven minutes left to play, Adam Chapman levelled the scores and Oxford were looking ascendant. When James Constable won a penalty deep in injury time it appeared the comeback was complete but he saw his spot-kick saved. It seemed we'd have to be content with a point, until Chapman crossed for Constable to ghost in in the 92nd minute.

3-3 v Accrington Stanley, 1st December 2012

Late action was the order of the day in this goal-fest last season. United seemed to have thrown it away when Jon-Paul Pittman's opener was cancelled out before the break and when James Beattie gave the hosts the lead with a wonder-goal ten minutes from time it appeared Oxford would be sent crashing out of the FA Cup. Alfie Potter played in James Constable to level just six minutes later but any plans for the replay were put on hold when Lee Molyneux curled in a free-kick in stoppage time. But up stepped Michael Raynes to save the day as he headed in in the 94th minute to keep the yellows hanging on by the skin of their teeth in the tie, just seconds before the final whistle.

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