Three Things We Learnt From Oxford United’s Draw With Northampton Town – Opinion

Tuesday night saw Northampton Town gain a last-gasp point on the road at Oxford United to draw 2-2, much to the dismay of U’s fans.

A win for Oxford would’ve seen them put a six-point gap between them and Stevenage in seventh, albeit Stevenage do have two games in hand. Nonetheless it is another point for Des Buckingham’s side which as a result sees them leapfrog Peterborough United to go into fifth place.

It is however not the result that they would’ve wanted especially given the circumstances. They may now be looking over their shoulders at the teams below them who have a game in hand. With only table-toppers Portsmouth having played the same amount of games as Oxford in the top half, they seem as if they are one of the teams that the others around the play-off places will be looking to target.

As for Northampton it is a good point on the road and they seem all but safe this season which is an achievement in itself. Sat in 11th, and 11 points off of Peterborough in sixth it looks as if a place in the play-offs may now be out of reach, but very few pundits would’ve predicted them to be in the top half at this stage of the season.

Josh Murphy would open the scoring early in the first half but the two teams would go into the break level after William Hondermarck headed home a Marc Leonard cross. Will Goodwin looked to have scored the winner in the 81st minute for Oxford, but Northampton would come from behind again with Tony Springett’s injury time strike ensuring that the spoils would be shared.

Here’s three things we learnt from the 2-2 draw…


Oxford do not look convincing

The inability to see out games has seriously hindered Oxford at points this season and that was on show again with Northampton finding an injury time equaliser. Although Buckingham’s side are now unbeaten in six, four of those have been draws.

If they want to bookmark a place in the play-offs this season, then they have to start winning games as all it could take is one or two of the teams directly below them to hit a good spell of form. That could in turn dislodge them from the play-offs.

It’s not all negative though, with it being another point on the board and it extends their unbeaten run. But they do not look like a squad capable of promotion currently.


Jon Brady deserves great credit for the job he has done

Northampton have been one of the surprise packages of the season and continue to outperform all expectations. Much of that is due to the job that Jon Brady has done as well as the never-say-die attitude he has installed in his players.

The Cobblers have seemed to find a way to bounce back from every setback that they have suffered this season and are a gritty side to come up against. Although they don’t have a whole lot to play for at this point in the season, a top-half finish would be a huge achievement.


Will Goodwin is a player to watch next season

Goodwin would bag his second goal for the club since joining in the January transfer window from Cheltenham Town, an impressive feat given he has only made five appearances for the club so far. He had already shown plenty of promise at Cheltenham and has now proved that he is not a ‘system player’ through his performances at Oxford.

At just 21 years of age, the sky is very much the limit for the striker.

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