Des Buckingham ‘extremely happy’ with Oxford comeback against Cambridge

By Sports Desk December 26, 2023

Oxford boss Des Buckingham was far happier with his team’s second-half showing after they came from behind at the break to beat Cambridge 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium.

Cambridge led through Jordan Cousins’ goal at a corner after 30 minutes – and they should have been further ahead at half-time with James Brophy missing a great chance to make it 2-0.

Tyler Goodrham, who came into Oxford’s side because left winger Josh Murphy was injured, scored a brilliant solo equaliser nine minutes after the break, cutting in from the left and firing into the far corner from 22 yards.

Defender Ciaron Brown then headed in a winner five minutes into stoppage time when Cambridge goalkeeper Jack Stevens could only beat out Cameron Brannagan’s long-range drive.

It was only Buckingham’s second league win in seven games.

He said: “It was a nice way for us to finish the game.

“I said to the players at half-time that we needed to move the ball quicker and stick to our beliefs.

“I’m extremely happy with the response.

“Tyler has been very patient, he’s been coming on as a substitute a couple of times since I’ve been here.

“It’s about coming on or coming in and having an impact and Tyler’s done that extremely well.

“Losing Josh Murphy before the game was a blow.

“If you look at his record, Tyler doesn’t just score goals, he scores goals at important moments.

“It hopefully gives me a tough selection problem now for our next game against Derby.

“We were much better in the second half. We needed more speed and to move the ball quicker, and we did that.

“The changes we made and fresh legs coming on helped keep that sharpness on the field.”

Oxford’s dramatic late victory came after they lost to a last-minute goal in their last match at Northampton on Saturday.

Buckingham said: “We spoke about sticking to what we wanted to do.

“At Northampton we saw a loose structure coming in which cause us a lot of chaos.

“Teams come to us and sometimes want to settle for a point. We’re not happy with a point – we always want to go for three.”

Cambridge head coach Neil Harris said: “I feel for the players.

“We were that good first half we should have been three or four goals clear at half-time.

“We’ve got to be more ruthless in their penalty area.

“The quality of some of our play was outstanding but we have to take more responsibility in front of goal.

“We’re playing against a team that is fifth in the league and who topped the table for quite some time, so to come here and dominate as we did in the first half was impressive.”

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