A goal from Jimmy Davis, and one each for loanees Luke Hand and Richie Duncan weren’t enough for WIFC, who went down to defeat at a blustery Oxford.
Full match report from Polly:
|WIFC made the visit to Oxford on Saturday, the trip being on route to those players making the further trip to watch the Hornets play at Birmingham that afternoon. A sticky bobbly pitch and blustery conditions made things tricky but it was still an improvement on rock hard frozen pitches from the previous week
Looking to learn lessons from their previous encounter against Oxford, joint manager Chris Davis chose to load the midfield in a bid to stifle Oxfords creativity but the home side started strongly and WIFC were under pressure for large periods of the first half. Oxford took the lead when they broke down the right and laid the ball off to the 18 yard line for a simple finish from their midfield. Maintaining their momentum Oxford increased their lead from a set play, taking advantage of a foul to send the free kick looping to the far post for a simple finish and soon made it three goals when their tricky forward received the ball with still a lot of work to do, drove an excellent finish past keeper Tom Beck. With ten minutes of the first half remaining and having created few clear cut chances, WIFC made a couple of changes and introduced nippy forward Jimmy Davis to the game. The change made an immediate impact with Jimmy’s pace unsettling the Oxford defence, and WIFC pulled a goal back when Jimmy outpaced his marker and placed a neat finish past Oxfords keeper and the half finished 3-1 to Oxford.
It was Watford’s turn to play into the wind in the second half, and they settled quickly and finally began to look more in control of the game until confusion between sub keeper Jeremy Hinds and centre back Martin Pollard ending with the defender touching the ball beyond the keeper and into the path of Oxfords striker for a finish into an empty net. However the Watford fans can be credited for not letting their heads drop and pulled a goal back with the goal of the game, loanee left winger Luke Hand started a move down the touch line, before releasing the ball out to the right wing and continuing his run into the box to receive Richard Murphy’s cross and head past the keeper. Oxford responded once again to put pay to any potential come back with a carbon copy of their first goal, and other WIFC loan player Richie Duncan grabbed a goal with a neat finish to leave the score 5-3 in Oxford favor at the final whistle.