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Oxford Utd 1-1 Kettering

Oxford 1 Kettering 1 - highlights

Oxford missed the chance to regain their position at the top of the Blue Square Premier with a draw against play-off chasing Kettering.

The U's took a deserved lead when Francis Green reacted quickest to a Sam Deering flick-on and fired home.

The advantage was short-lived as Kettering equalised with a James Dance header from a Marcus Kelly corner.

Substitute John Grant almost snatched the victory late on for the home side, but his header flashed wide.

A surprise midweek defeat by Hayes & Yeading had seen Oxford concede top spot in the Blue Square Premier to Stevenage, but they looked to make amends early on against the Poppies.

Both the outstanding Deering and the lively Damian Batt probed at Kettering's defence, trying to fashion out an opener for the home side with a series of tricky crosses.


But it was Green, a surprise recall for the clash against his former club, who carved out the best chances.

First he forced keeper Nathan Abbey to make a smart save, and then he latched on to Deering's flick-on to slot home the opener.

The visitors struggled to forge their own chances against a resolute backline, so it came as a surprise when they caught Oxford cold with a Kelly corner that Dance met full on to equalise just before half-time.

The goal buoyed the away side and they continued to press after the break, with Kelly and Dance looking dangerous on the counter-attack.

But Oxford weathered the storm and an uneventful second period petered out with both sides seemingly content with another point in their quest for promotion.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Batt, Wright, Day, Tonkin, Bulman, Chalmers, Clist (Matthew Green 52), Francis Green, Midson (Grant 53), Deering.
Subs Not Used: Turley, Creighton, Chapman.

Booked: Wright.

Goals: Francis Green 36.

Kettering: Abbey, Taylor (Thelwell 85), Roper, Dempster, Jennings, Wrack, Boucaud, Hadfield, Kelly, Dance (Marna 71), Appiah (Charles 55).

Subs Not Used: Noubissie, Thomas.

Booked: Taylor, Hadfield, Dempster, Roper, Boucaud, Marna.

Goals: Dance 42.

Att: 5,836

Ref: Robert Merchant (Staffordshire).

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