April 20, 2013
U's end season on a high
Three fine second-half strikes enabled Oxford to end a disappointing home campaign on a high as they ran out 3-0 winners over Rochdale.
Andy Whing converted Deane Smalley's right-wing cross to give goalkeeper Josh Lillis no chance with a brilliant close-range scissor kick eight minutes into the second half.
James Constable, who had come on as a half-time substitute, lashed in a second from Jon-Paul Pittman's pass for his 13th goal of the season.
And Alfie Potter made it three in stoppage time, chipping deftly over Lillis after a quick break that began from a dreadful Rochdale corner.
The impressive finishes were out of character with a tepid affair between two mid-table teams whose hopes of reaching the play-offs had disappeared some time ago.
Smalley went close with a powerful angled drive in the second minute that Lillis beat out, and Potter screwed his follow-up shot wide.
Dale, who had come into this game on the back of just one defeat in nine, threatened only fleetingly.
George Donnelly had an early opportunity with a free header at the far post from Bobby Grant's cross, but he nodded tamely into the arms of keeper Luke McCormick.
Michael Rose's ambitious 22-yard volley from a corner cleared the bar by some distance, and young sub Reece Gray fired into the side netting.
|31 Max Crocombe||1 Josh Lillis|
|17 Tony Capaldi||37 Wayne Thomas|
|5 Michael Duberry||25 Michael Rose|
|16 Andrew Whing||4 Peter Cavanagh|
|4 Michael Raynes||12 Phil Edwards|
|2 Damian Batt||2 Joe Rafferty|
|26 Liam Davis||7 Jason Kennedy|
|14 Sean Rigg||11 Ashley Grimes|
|27 Scott Davies||40 Ian Henderson|
|10 Deane Smalley||9 George Donnelly|
|15 Alfie Potter||22 Robert Grant|
|24 Luke McCormick||Steven Collis 13|
|30 Sam Long||Shane Cansdell-Sherriff 5|
|23 Luke O'Brien||Reece Gray 10|
|8 Simon Heslop||Brian Barry-Murphy 6|
|35 Callum O'Dowda||Kevin McIntyre 14|
|9 James Constable||Joel Logan 26|
|11 Jon-Paul Pittman||Terry Gornell 27|
|James Constable for Tony Capaldi (46)||Shane Cansdell-Sherriff for Joe Rafferty (63)|
|Luke O'Brien for Liam Davis (60)||Reece Gray for Ashley Grimes (63)|
|Jon-Paul Pittman for Deane Smalley (72)||Joel Logan for Jason Kennedy (63)|
|Joel Logan (86)|
|· Squads: Oxford United | Rochdale|