Oxford United managed to scrape a win against Bradford in a huge relegation battle in League One which saw Karl Robinson’s side climb out of the bottom four.
They’re only a point clear of the drop zone, but similarly only two points from 12th place. In a remarkable relegation battle, they managed to grab the upper hand against a woeful Bradford side.
The Bantams are in real trouble now, rock bottom and six points from safety. That won’t bother Oxford, who will feel there’s still an escape on the cards for them.
Jamie Mackie’s late winner was shrouded in controversy, with referee Andy Davies not certain whether to award a goal, a penalty or a goal kick. It was a crazy end to a dour game, but one Oxford won’t complain about.
Even at this late stage in the season, every game will deliver lessons to be learnt and warnings to be heeded. We’ve spotted three things in the Oxford win that we clearly learnt this weekend.
Wasteful in front of goal
Before Mackie bagged the late winner there were 21 efforts by Oxford that went off target. In total they had 26 chances at goal.
To be so creative and miss so many chances could be costly. They have to improve.
Bradford didn’t have a shot on target and whilst that is as much a testament to them being poor, it also points to a good defensive partnership for Oxford.
Curtis Nelson is a strong centre half and Rob Dickie is developing into a fine player. Together, they represented the bedrock upon which the entire side is built.
Luck on their side
The late goal was perhaps the most bizarre awarded all season.
Bradford had legitimate penalty appeals turned down, the quick goal kick was taken with players in the area and yet Oxford went up and scored, with the goal standing.
It shouldn’t have been allowed, but sometimes you need a bit of luck on your side.