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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

06 October 2020 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

EFL Trophy Match Preview: Oxford United v Bristol Rovers

5 October 2020

Check out our match preview for our midweek tie against Oxford United in the EFL Trophy...

Looking ahead...

The Gas will be buoyed by a promising display against Northampton Town on Saturday, picking up their first win of the season in a 2-0 victory. Goals from summer signings Brandon Hanlan and Jack Baldwin will help the new boys in their settling-in process too, as Rovers now look to push on in this midweek tie.

Garner hinted at rotation in his post-match interview after his side's win, saying "we want that competition and that depth within the squad - it's a competition where we're keen to blood some of our own youngsters as well."

Assessing the quality of his opposition this week, Garner said "In terms of their team, obviously they had their game called off on Saturday so I'm not sure if that'll have an impact with what Karl looks to do with his team, but we go there with full respect for them and look forward to the game."

View from the Opposition...

Oxford will be coming into this one the fresher of the two sides, with a last-second decision made to postpone their weekend fixture against Crewe, due to a positive test COVID-19 in the Crewe camp.

Form Guide...

United's form has been mixed this campaign, opening the season with back to back 2-0 losses, to Lincoln City and Sunderland, before picking up a win just over a week ago, against Accrington Stanley with an emphatic 4-1 victory. They also experienced a promising showing the Carabao Cup, drawing 1-1 in normal time against Watford before crashing out on penalties.

Past Meetings...

On a memorable sunny day last year, the Gas fought back from 1-0 down to claim victory over Oxford United in our only meeting of last campaign. In what was an engrossing tie, goals from Ed Upson, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Tom Nichols secured Rovers the victory down at BS7.

How to watch...

While games are being played behind closed doors, or with limited spectators allowed through the turnstiles, an arrangement exists whereby all matches that are NOT LIVE on Sky Sports will be available to stream by Clubs on iFollow (or Club equivalent service), for a match pass price of £10.

Tuesday's game is available to watch on iFollow Gas both in the UK and abroad  - with match passes available HERE.

The Club receives 80% of the income generated by iFollow.

The link below houses all the FAQ's on how to watch Saturday's game on iFollow.

Around the grounds...

The Gas and Oxford's fellow southern group D sides played their 2nd group game last week, with Chelsea U'21's securing the bonus point after a 1-1 draw with Walsall.

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Match Reports

Match Report: Oxford United p1-1 Bristol Rovers

6 October 2020

The Gas return back to BS7 with a single point, following a draw in normal time at the Kassam Stadium, before losing the penalty shootout.

A bright start set the tone for the Gas, with Tom Mehew wriggling free inside the area and slotting neatly into the bottom right corner to propel his side into the lead before the 12th minute.

Rovers enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure at the beginning of the second half, but it was with less than 10 to go when Phillips was brought down inside United's area by Nico Jones. Leahy stepped up, before seeing his penalty saved and his strike on the rebound go narrowly wide.

Oxford responded from this, with Osei Yaw heading past van Stappershoef from close-range with less a two minutes remaining of normal time.

In the shootout, two misses from the Gas saw Oxford take the bonus point, meaning the Rovers return home with just the single point from what was a night of real promise for the Gas' next generation.

Garner named a much-changed side from the weekend's victory over Northampton Town, nine in total across his first eleven, with only Jack Baldwin and James Daly keeping their place.

A number of academy products featured in the matchday squad, with Alfie Kilgour, Tom Mehew, Cameron Hargreaves, Zain Walker and Kieran Phillips all named amongst the eighteen.

Rovers started brightly early on in the game, even finding the net inside the opening ten minutes but had it quickly chalked off by the referee. It came through a smart cross from Nicholson from the right flank, in towards a competing Zain Walker. The ball bounced out to Luke Leahy who fired home for what would've been his 3rd goal, but the referee blew for a foul by Zain Walker.

Just after 10 minutes, the Gas found the net again, and this time it counted.

A clever throw into the feet of James Daly saw it quickly turned around the corner towards Mehew who controlled onto his left and neatly tucked it into the bottom right corner, a superb finish, and his second in two EFL Trophy games.

Rovers remained in the ascendancy, with Upson hitting a speculative effort from 30+ yards out towards the bottom right corner. It looked to be sneaking in, needing a crucial touch from Stevens in the Oxford net to turn it around the post.

McGuane produced Oxford's first real sight of goal 25 minutes in, as he arched around the periphery of the area before lacing an effort with his right. However, the strike was central and van Stappershoef gathered well.

Oxford grew into the game from this point but struggled to really test Van Stappershoef further before the break, while Rovers attempted to maintain the pressure on the U's. However, no real chance of quality came before the break, with the Gas going in ahead.

A frantic goalmouth scramble opened the half, with a strike from Luke Leahy deflecting across the face of goal towards Sam Nicholson who attempted to control the bouncing ball. His touch betrayed him slightly, bouncing up again before he struck it with his left foot. By that point though, Stevens had rushed out well from the Oxford net, making a good save from close range.

James Daly bolted well beyond Oxford's left-back thanks to a smart touch moments after Nicholson's strike. Daly pulled it back across the area, but Stevens dove at the feet of the onrushing Walker, cutting out the imminent danger.

The ever-lively Cameron Hargreaves went close soon after, with Walker finding his fellow academy graduate in the box with a neat pass. Hargreaves shimmied back and forth with his back to goal inside the area before hitting a left-footed effort on the turn, going narrowly wide of Stevens' right post.

A sharply taken free-kick from Rob Hall forced a quick reaction from van Stappershoef around the hour mark, with the Dutchman leaping to his left to palm an arrowing effort wide.

With just under 10 minutes to play, youngster Keiran Phillips, who signed his professional deal just before the COVID-19 lockdown, made his senior debut, replacing James Daly late on.

Making an instant impact, Phillips was brought down inside the area from a poor Nico Jones challenge. Leahy stepped up to take, but saw his penalty saved, before knocking the rebound narrowly wide.

Up the other end, Oxford responded, with Osei Yaw heading past van Stappershoef from close-range in the 89th minute.

In penalties, Leahy began with redemption, striking home the first penalty of the shootout, but misses from Ed Upson and Jack Baldwin costed the Gas a bonus point in the penalty shootut.

The Gas will head to Sincil Bank on Saturday, to take on Lincoln City in the league.

Rovers: Jordi van Stappershoef, Alfie Kilgour (c), Michael Kelly, Jack Baldwin, Ed Upson, Cam Hargreaves, Luke Leahy, Sam Nicholson (Josh Hare 69'), Tom Mehew, Zain Walker, James Daly (Kieran Phillips 81')

Subs: Alexis Andre Jr, Cian Harries, David Tutonda, Josh Grant, Zain Westbrooke.

Oxford United: Jack Stevens, Rob Hall, Cameron Brannagan (c), Mark Sykes, Sam Long, Marcus McGuane, Rob Atkinson (Nico Jones 66'), Liam Kelly (Daniel Agyei 62'), Derick Osei Yaw, Kyran Lofthouse (Jamie Hanson 62'), Michael Elechi.

Subs: Simon Eastwood, Anthony Forde, Dylan Asonganyi.


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