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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

24 April 2021 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Oxford United vs Argyle

23 April 2021

The Pilgrims are back on the road this weekend, travelling to the Kassam Stadium to face play-off chasing Oxford United on Saturday afternoon.

With three wins in their previous five fixtures, the U’s currently lie a point outside of the Sky Bet League One play-off places, having played two games more than sixth-placed Charlton Athletic – meaning that only a win will do on Saturday to keep top-six hopes alive.

In their last outing, Karl Robinson’s men fell to a 2-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon, having led until they were reduced to ten men.

Following a goalless 45 minutes, the U’s went ahead six minutes after the break as Olamide Shodipo laid off to Josh Ruffels, who fired low beyond Nik Tzanev in the Dons’ goal.

The fixture turned on 61 minutes, when James Henry saw red for stopping a goal-bound effort with his hand. Henry was shown a straight red card for the misdemeanour, and Joe Pigott converted the spot-kick. Just two minutes later, the turnaround was complete, with Alex Woodyard slamming home the winner from the edge of the box.

In our reverse league at Home Park in December, the U’s came from behind to win 3-2. A well-worked 12thminute goal from Panutche Camara put the Greens in front, before Ruffels equalised on 37 minutes to send the sides into the break level.

With the game finely poised, a 74th minute Sam Long effort gave the U’s the edge, before a late Shodipo penalty secured the points. Luke Jephcott buried a penalty for Argyle deep into stoppage time, after Byron Moore was pulled back in the box.

Cameron Brannagan was substituted late on in the U’s last outing with a dead leg and is an injury doubt. Brandon Barker has been absent for the U’s last two fixtures with a hamstring injury and will not be up for selection in our meeting. Marcus McGuane has also been absent since January with a thigh injury.

Henry will unavailable as he serves his suspension after being sent off against Wimbledon.

For Argyle, Conor Grant will be assessed before being put up for selection this weekend. Centre-back Will Aimson will also be assessed ahead of Saturday, having been withdrawn early in the midweek defeat to Charlton with an ankle injury.

The managers said:

Ryan Lowe: “We respect Oxford for what they are, Karl [Robinson] and the staff, but we’ve got to worry about Plymouth Argyle first and foremost. We didn’t have the best of evenings on Tuesday and we’ve got to make sure we try and put that right on Saturday afternoon. It’s going to be a tough game.

“The respect will always be there between me and Karl, [we’re] good friends. He’s looking for points to get into the play-offs, I’m looking for points to put some pride back into the shirt of the players. Our aim is to keep collecting as many points as we possibly can. I want the fans to be proud, I want to be proud and we want to finish the season on a high.”

Karl Robinson: “We come up against a team who had a difficult evening on Tuesday, and I know 100% the manager will have ironed that out and they will be fully motivated. I know their manager very well, he is a good man, very honest and does things right. They have really good staff, and I am close to them, know how much they love working for Plymouth Argyle and know they will want to win on Saturday.

"We are under no illusions about how difficult the game is going to be, but we have to focus completely on ourselves and what we need to do.” 


The record: P 21 W 3 D 7 L 11 F 19 A 35

The first time: 28 February, 1976. Division Two. Oxford United 2-2 Argyle

Paul Mariner gave Tony Waiters’ Argyle a 24th minute lead, which winger Hugh McAuley doubled on 58 minutes. The Greens were seemingly on their way to their first away win of the season but, alas, a brace from Mick Tait on 59 and 82 minutes ensured that the spoils were shared.

The last time: 13 October, 2018. Sky Bet League One. Oxford United 2-0 Argyle

Derek Adams’s Pilgrims replaced Oxford at the bottom of the League One table at full-time in this encounter. Both of the home team’s goals were scored by former Greens: Jamie Mackie opened the scoring in the fourth minute and Curtis Nelson doubled the home side’s advantage on 74 minutes. To rub salt into Argyle’s wounds, Yann Songo’o was sent off on 81 minutes.

Biggest win: John Sheridan’s Argyle beat United 3-2 on Boxing Day 2013 in Sky Bet League Two. Sheffield Wednesday loanee Caolan Lavery gave us the lead early in the second half. Current Torquay midfielder Asa Hall equalised for the U’s before a Reuben Reid penalty restored our advantage. Reid extended our lead to 3-1 with only three minutes left to play before a Neal Trotman own goal set up a tense finale.

Most goals in a single game: Six, in a 1-5 thrashing for Carl Fletcher’s men in October 2011 at the Kassam Stadium in League Two.

Rob Hall gave Oxford a first half lead, but Argyle skipper Simon Walton pulled the Greens level on 55 minutes. United scored four goals without reply late in the game through Hall’s second, alongside a brace from James Constable and one from Peter Leven.

Saturday's fixture is available to stream live and worldwide on iFollow Argyle. Click here to purchase your pass.

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Match Reports

REPORT: Oxford United 3 Argyle 1

24 April 2021

Oxford United 3 
Edwards o.g. 29 
Taylor 69, 80 

Argyle 1 
Ennis 65 

Argyle were unable to break a tough recent run after going down to a 3-1 defeat at promotion-chasing Oxford United. 

An own goal from Joe Edwards was the only difference in a tight first period and Argyle started the second half in terrific fashion, deservedly drawing level through Niall Ennis. 

The game then turned back in favour of the hosts, as Matty Taylor grabbed a close-range brace to seal the home victory. 

Argyle manager Ryan Lowe made four changes from the midweek loss to Charlton, with Byron Moore, Jerome Opoku, Tyrese Fornah and Ennis replacing Will Aimson, Kelland Watts, Lewis Macleod and Ryan Hardie. 

Oxford boss Karl Robinson opted for just the one change after a midweek loss at Wimbledon slightly dented their play-off hopes, with Dan Agyei coming in for James Henry. 

A header from Sam Long was glanced narrowly wide after an early Oxford corner and Olamide Shodipo had a similar nodded effort that fell off target. Goalkeeper Mike Cooper then safely snaffled a drive from distance. 

Argyle settled into the spring sunshine with some diligent work in midfield, ably led by Fornah and Panutche Camara, as Moore forced a move down the right and he headed the rebound from his own cross against the outside of the post. 

The Greens moved the ball beautifully wide to the left through Ennis and Danny Mayor jinked inside for a shot blocked by Elliott Moore. Ennis continued his bright start with a run and low cross repelled by good handling from home custodian Jack Stevens. 

Brave goalkeeping from Cooper thwarted Mark Sykes midway through the first period but Argyle were soon up the other end, with a scuttling low cross from Moore very nearly picking out the run of Luke Jephcott. 

A free-kick from the right presented an opener for Oxford, as the whipped cross by Elliot Lee flicked off the head of Edwards for an unfortunate own goal. 

Argyle responded with some determined work by Camara and Ennis, but the room for a clear shot on goal refused to arrive, and Oxford came back with a chest and volley from Sykes, excellently saved by the legs of Cooper. 

The Pilgrim stopper repeated the trick with a save from Taylor’s back-post header in the final meaningful action of the first half and Argyle restarted with Mayor and Moore both trying to force a problem for the hosts. 

Another courageous stop from Cooper denied his nemesis Sykes and Argyle replied with a clever move in the left channel, leading to a Jephcott shot charged down by Rob Atkinson, quickly followed by an Ennis drive that appeared to strike the hand of the same home defender. 

Argyle were controlling the play, prodding and probing through Mayor, Ennis and Ryan Law, but the ball would not fall for a Green boot after some impressive build-up work.  

The deserved reward arrived with a slick pass inside the left channel from Mayor and Ennis beautifully cushioned his finish beyond Stevens and inside the far post for a lovely goal that had been coming. 

The Pilgrims had worked so hard to draw level, which made the second goal from Oxford particularly galling, when a low cross by Sykes was lashed past Cooper by Taylor inside the six-yard box. 

Hardie replaced Jephcott for the final stages but Argyle’s race was run when Taylor grabbed his second of the afternoon, hooking the ball home from close range after a corner by Lee. 

Klaidi Lolos came on for Moore in Argyle’s next change, followed by Ben Reeves and Watts for Sam Woods and Fornah, but the three points were set to stay at Oxford.  

Oxford United (4-3-3): 13 Jack Stevens; 12 Sam Long, 5 Elliott Moore (capt), 22 Rob Atkinson, 3 Josh Ruffels; 19 Dan Agyei (14 Anthony Forde 75)8 Cameron Brannagan, 10 Mark Sykes; 27 Elliot Lee (6 Alex Gorrin 75)9 Matty Taylor, 25 Olamide ShodipoSubstitutes (not used): 1 Simon Eastwood (gk), 4 Luke McNally, 7 Rob Hall, 20 Jamie Hanson, 28 Liam Kelly. 


Argyle (4-4-2): 1 Mike Cooper; 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 25 Sam Woods (2 Kelland Watts 89), 24 Jerome Opoku, 27 Ryan Law; 17 Byron Moore (19 Klaidi Lolos 83)18 Tyrese Fornah (14 Ben Reeves 89), 28 Panutche Camara, 10 Danny Mayor; 21 Niall Ennis, 31 Luke Jephcott (9 Ryan Hardie 78)Substitutes (not used): 23 Luke McCormick (gk), 16 Lewis Macleod, 41 Ollie Tomlinson. 

Booked: Edwards 76 

Referee: Brett Huxtable 

Attendance: N/A 

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