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Match preview Vs Oxford Utd - FA Trophy 4th rd

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Date: 20-02-10gif Venue: Kassam Stadiumgif Kick off: 15:00hrs
For the second time this month we travel over the Cotswolds to The Kassam Stadium, Oxford, for another chance to put one over a team that treat us as their bogey side.  Already this season we've beaten the self styled Champions elect at Aggborough and two weeks ago we held them to a hard worked goal less draw at their place.

Ross Atkins That result came on the back of a home defeat in their previous home game against Tamworth and it also came as a shock to their fans to see their team yet again fail to beat a team that they class as inferior to themselves.  This time out they might have to contend with getting knocked out of the FA Trophy too.

We might have a couple of new faces in the side for the game and also a not so new one could also make an appearance.  The first new one is goalkeeper Ross Atkins (right) following his arrival from Derby County as cover for Dean Coleman.  Coleman is due to go into hospital for major surgery to his groin this week and could well be missing for the remainder of the season.

Last week James Lawrie arrived from Port Vale but couldn't play for us immediately.  He should be getting his big chance tomorrow because, frankly, we're dire in front of goal of late and either Damian Spencer or Robbie Matthews could benefit by having a young, eager striker to play alongside.

The other new (old) face is the legendary Marcus Bignot who has now returned back to the club that he first made his name at thirteen years ago.  Since his time here he has played for Crewe, Bristol Rovers, QPR, Rushden (everyone makes mistakes) and finally Millwall from where he joined us.

Going out yesterday was David McDermott to Halesowen Town on a month long loan.  This move is seen as an ideal way to get Macca's fitness level back to what it was before the debilitating illness struck that saw him hospitalised twice over the Christmas period.  Missing will be Marc Goodfellow who is cup tied.

So now we will be seeing a slightly new look side at Oxford.  What about our opponents?

As said before they'll be hoping to get one over us but according to some of their fans they wouldn't really care if they were to exit the Trophy at this stage and make a concerted effort to get back into the League.  Admirable thoughts but they could back fire on them and they end up with nothing.

Their performances in recent weeks have been far from convincing and that also includes Tuesday nights narrow 1-0 home win over Rushden.  They were gifted two soft penalties in that game with James Constable shooting the moon for the first and then with time running out Adam Chapman converted the second to give them an undeserved victory.

They'll be without a handful of players for this game.  Anthony Tonkin is cup tied while Alfie Potter and Adam Murray are both out injured.

Crowd wise we're expected to be taking around three hundred Harriers fans there but many of their fans are talking about not going at all.  I feel it may be because they don't want to see their team fail to beat us yet again.

Photo © DCFC


Teams:

Harriers from:
Atkins, Singh, Baker, Riley, Bignot, Courtney, Sharpe, Finnigan, Knights, Hadley, McPhee, Bennett, Hayward, Caines, Spencer, Smikle, Lawrie, Matthews.

Oxford from:
Clarke, Turley, Hargreaves, Fowler, Batt, Sandwith, Bulman, Creighton, Chapman, Constable, Midson, Clist, Wright, Day, F Green, Deering, M Green, Cook, Woodley, Groves, Sampson.

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