|Oxford United 3 v 0 Rochdale|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 26th October 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Match Report: Oxford 3-0 Dale
Sunday, 27th Oct 2019 09:43 by AtThePeake
Dale's brief winning streak came to an abrupt end on Saturday afternoon as they fell to a 3-0 away defeat against high-flying Oxford.
The only change in the Dale side came in attack as captain and top scorer Ian Henderson dropped to the bench having not been able to train since Tuesday's victory over MK Dons.
It was the visitors that had the first couple of looks at goal, but Matt Done and Eoghan O'Connell's long-range efforts failed to trouble Simon Eastwood between the sticks for the U's.
From there however, the hosts started to take control of the game and show their quality, with Ruffels heading wide from a corner just seconds before getting on the scoresheet.
Another corner came in and was headed back across goal by Mousinho, where Ruffels was able to latch on and side-foot his team into the lead from inside the six yard box.
By 27 minutes, it was 2-0. A thunderous effort from Cameron Brannagan cannoned back off the crossbar and the in-form Tarique Fosu showed incredible composure to cushion a low volley into the bottom corner on the rebound.
Unsurprisingly with the two goal advantage, the U's continued to turn the screw with former Premier League star Jamie Mackie forcing a reaction save out of Jay Lynch in the Dale goal with a powerful header.
But before half-time things went from bad to worse as Aaron Wilbraham, the replacement for Ian Henderson, was shown a red card.
Lunging in on Fosu, Wilbraham appeared to win the ball cleanly, although judging by the reaction of Tosu's team-mates and looking at the replay his studs may have been showing. Referee Nick Kinseley had a clear view and produced a straight red card for the 40 year old striker.
Having come off the bench for Aaron Morley just a few minutes into the second half, Hendo thought he had dragged Dale back into the game only to have his terrific strike from the edge of the box ruled out for offside.
With the extra man and a two goal advantage, Oxford continued to dominate the majoriy of the second half thoughand would have made it three had it not been for an unorthodox save after Rob Dickie tried to deflect a shot goalwards.
By the time the third eventually did go in on 86 minutes Dale's hope had been extinguished. A deflected effort from James Henry was kept out by Lynch but the rebound fell to substitute Sam Long who slammed in from six yards out to finish the game once and for all.
Brian Barry-Murphy's men return to Spotland for a double header of home games next week against Bristol Rovers and Ipswich Town.
The Gas have slowed up in recent weeks, picking up just one point from the last available nine, but both sides will still provide a stern test against a Dale side that are still yet to beat a team from outside the bottom six.
Photo: Action Images
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