Oxford United 2 Rochdale 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 09 November 2002

Oxford United buried the Rochdale bogey with a 2-0 win over them at the Kassam Stadium.

It was their first win in nine attempts and was Rochdale's eighth game without a win.

United, enjoying lesser teams after the 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa in the Worthington Cup on Wednesday, produced their best performance at home this season.

They were in control after Rochdale boss Paul Simpson drove a free-kick wide after six minutes.

Full-back Matt Robinson was off target six minutes later but he set up the first goal in the 17th minute.

From a move started by Dean Whitehead, Robinson put James Hunt clear in the penalty area and the midfielder drove in his first league goal.

He had an excellent chance to double his tally two minutes later after Neil Edwards pushed out a piledriver from David Oldfield but he shot wide from 12 yards.

Whitehead, who retained his place in midfield after performing well against Villa was unlucky after 28 minutes.

Given a clear view of goal 35 yards out he beat Edwards with a stunning drive which came back off the crossbar.

Simpson, who enjoyed a good spell at Oxford from 1988 to 1992, twice sent over dangerous crosses on the stroke of half time and United were fortunate that no Rochdale player turned them into goals.

The visitors had a good spell in the second half and Paul Connor should of done better in the 68th minute than head another Simpson cross straight at goalkepper Andy Woodmen from point-blank range.

Oxford striker Steve Basham made them pay for the miss two minutes later, heading a right-wing cross from Scott McNiven well out of the reach of Edwards.

United boss Ian Atkins was full of praise for his players after the game saying: "That was our best performance and was a joy to watch.

"What was so pleasing was having two strikers who were able to pass and move the ball. They were fantastic." Simpson said: " We've got to get the fear out of our players.

"In the second half when we took the game to them we had crosses going into their area which were good quality. Our people were not getting onto them."

Rochdale Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Oldham Athletic 3 - 1 Rochdale

Last game - Match Centre


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