Another game, another narrow defeat in a game where both sets of supporters might feel a draw would have been fair. So, weather-permitting it’s on to a Tuesday night home fixture against a side plunged into turmoil at the weekend. Paul Tisdale will probably need to shuffle his pack with one enforced change after teen sensation Matt Grimes limped off following a mistimed challenge by Sammy Moore of AFC Wimbledon on Saturday – Jimmy Keohane dropped back into midfield and he may keep his place there unless Tisdale decides to push Scot Bennett up and recall Pat Baldwin, while Alan Gow was a late sub possibly with a view to starting on Tuesday night.
When Oxford’s players walked off to the cheers of their fans after scoring a rare home win over Torquay on Saturday night, you could be forgiven for thinking all was well. However, just hours later it emerged that Chris Wilder had quit the club having emerged as the favourite to take over at basement side Northampton. So it is a managerless Oxford side that travel down to Devon on Tuesday night aiming to protect their fantastic away record. That 1-0 win over Torquay was only Oxford’s 5th home win of the season yet they sit 6th in the table thanks to eight away wins, indeed their only away defeat in any competition this season was a 4-0 thumping by Championship side Charlton in the Capital One Cup way back in August. James Constable (9 goals in all competitions) and Deane Smalley (8) have been chief tormentors in front of goal, while experienced midfielder Nicky Wroe has recently joined on loan. Dave Kitson has bags of experience too in a slightly more withdrawn role.
The reverse fixture at the Kassam ended 0-0, a match notable mainly for Kitson playing like a bear with a sore head all night and finally copping a second yellow card in the dying minutes. Oxford took the points in this game last season, racing into a 3-0 lead (Constable 2 and Leven) before Jamie Cureton reduced the arrears from the penalty spot. City do, however, have an excellent record in league fixtures against Oxford, winning 15 times to Oxford’s 7 (11 draws).
Ground Guide for fans visiting St James Park: http://www.exeweb.com/2012/05/29/the-things-you-need-to-know-st-james-park-exeter/