Oxford United held to draw at The Valley

Marcus Browne celebrates after scoring at The Valley. Picture: Steve Edmunds
Marcus Browne celebrates after scoring at The Valley. Picture: Steve Edmunds

MARCUS Browne’s stunning first goal of the season wasn’t enough as Oxford United were held to a draw at The Valley.

U’s boss Karl Robinson made two changes to the 2-1 defeat at home to MK Dons, while switching shape too.

Elliott Moore and Lewis Bate came into the side in place of John Mousinho and Billy Bodin, as United switched to a 4-2-3-1 with Bate in the attacking midfield role.

Both sides took their time to get into the game, but it was United who took the lead with the first real chance of the half.

It was route one stuff from the U’s with Simon Eastwood sending a long ball up to Kyle Joseph.

The Swansea City loanee flicked a header into the path of Browne.

United’s No 11 then took a couple of touches to cut infield from the left, before sending a low, fizzing effort into the corner, from 25 yards out, and beyond the reach of Joe Wollacott in the Charlton goal.

Browne continued to cause all sorts of problems with his pace and trickery, spinning in behind Sam Lavelle and getting the Addicks defender in the book as he pulled Browne back as he looked to escape down the left.

On 25 minutes, Ciaron Brown sent in a cross, which James Henry collected in a central position just outside the area.

However, the U’s man sent his shot over the bar.

Three minutes later, United countered and had the chance to grab a second.

Joseph was patient and showed great awareness to slide the ball across to Marcus McGuane, but the midfielder sidefooted an effort wide of the post.

The home fans made their frustrations heard, with the Addicks unable to carve out any opportunities.

Their first moment of real goalmouth action came on 35 minutes when Mandela Egbo sent in a low cross which Eastwood pawed away from goal but not clear of the box.

Luckily for the U’s, nobody in a red shirt was on hand to pounce.

United had some more defending to do on the cusp of half-time as Elliott Moore intercepted a clever through ball from Scott Fraser, who had spotted a clever run in behind the U’s defence from Jayden Stockley.

The hosts came out strong in the second half, with the dangerous Egbo attempting an audacious lob after seeing Eastwood off his line, with the ball sailing just over.

Straight at the other end, Bate sent a low shot to the right of Wollacott but the goalkeeper was equal to it, getting down low to claim the ball.

The home side grew into the game though and went close when a deflected effort hit the post, however Stockley was in an offside position when he moved for the rebound.

Nine minutes into the second half, Stockley did get the home side an equaliser though.

Charlton had a couple of opportunities as United failed to clear the ball outside their box.

Half-time substitute Charlie Kirk clipped a cross on the byline to the back post where Stockley was able to prod home from a matter of yards.

Robinson brought on Bodin and Matty Taylor just after the hour mark, as the U’s switched to a 4-3-3.

Bodin dropped into a midfield role, while Taylor went straight up front, with Joseph drifting to the right.

Joseph had a powerful effort charged down minutes later as United sought to regain their lead.

Neither side created a chance to win it until stoppage time when there was a flurry of late chances.

First, Bodin cut inside but blazed over when well placed inside the box.

The next opportunity fell to George Dobson who was played through by Diallang Jaiyesimi, but Eastwood made himself big to deny Dobson.

Jodi Jones, on as a late substitute, curled an effort towards the far corner which Wollacott was equal to.

Charlton Athletic (3-5-2): Wollacott; O’Connell, Inniss, Lavelle (Kirk 46); Egbo, Payne (Leaburn 46), Dobson, Fraser, Sessegnon (Chin 68); Rak-Sakyi, Stockley (Jaiyesimi 87).

Unused subs: MacGillivray, Thomas, McGrandles.

Booked: Lavelle, Dobson.

Oxford United (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Long, Moore, Findlay, Brown; Brannagan, McGuane; Henry (Bodin 62), Bate (Taylor 62), Browne (Gorrin 79); Joseph (Jones 90)

Unused subs: Brearey, Mousinho, Seddon.

Booked: McGuane

Referee: Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 12,806 (1,058 away)