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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Darlington 0-1 Oxford

Oxford United performed a classic smash-and-grab to steal victory at Darlington.

Despite their superior possession, Darlington could not hit the target and a 44th-minute strike from Steve Basham settled the game.

The Quakers fielded new boy Jon Cullen and the former Hartlepool man surged forward confidently in the 12th minute before releasing the ball to striker Barry Conlon, who fell at the crucial moment and a good chance went begging.

After 19 minutes, Ian Clark turned smartly and found Conlon again, but the big striker failed to score from close range.

Against the run of play, Oxford took the lead in the 44th minute. From a short throw-in, Basham took up possession on the right and strode forward to unleash an unstoppable right-foot drive which flew into the far corner of the net.


Darlington: Collett, Valentine, Liddle, Clarke, Betts, Nicholls, Cullen, Maddison, Wainwright, Conlon, Clark. Subs: Naylor, Keltie, McGurk, Porter, Hadland.

Oxford Utd: Woodman, McNiven, Crosby, Bound, Robinson, Oldfield, Hunt, Savage, Waterman, Basham, Scott. Subs: Ricketts, Ford, Steele, Whitehead, Hackett.

Referee: M Jones (Cheshire).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Tees' Ray Simpson
"Darlington missed easy chances"
Darlington boss Tommy Taylor
"Oxford soaked up a lot of pressure"
Oxford boss Ian Atkins
"I'm delighted with the result"

Saturday's games

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