The Verdict: Solid away point for Lambert’s men
We take a look back at the talking points from Town’s goalless draw at Oxford United.
Play the conditions
The main talking point of Town’s visit to Oxford would be the conditions at The Kassam Stadium. At the start of the play, the heavens opened! There was clear visible resting water around the centre of the pitch, making any play virtually impossible.
Referee Tom Nield called a halt to the action before the half hour after persistent rain left water on the surface. After some work from the Oxford ground staff, 18 minutes later play was resumed, with the pitch visibly improved.
However, even with the pitch now more playable, this was certainly not the night for pretty football. I would like to call it no-nonsense football, you head it, you clear your lines and you get out of there as quick as possibly. This will certainly go down as a point gained!
Squad taking shape
Lambert surprisingly only made one change for the game with promotion chasing Oxford, an forced change too! Kayden Jackson had a slight hamstring injury so was not risked, Will Keane partnered James Norwood in attack.
That is now only one change in three league fixtures, fair to say Lambert lottery is now dead in the water. The Town fans were hoping for an unchanged squad but were perhaps expecting a change or two. It would have been easy to bring in Cole Skuse for Emyr Huws in midfield, perhaps even Jon Nolan for Alan Judge too. But credit where credit is due, Lambert now has a settled side, something we’ve all been calling out for!
Solid away performance
In difficult conditions, away from home, promotion chasing opposition, as mentioned this will definitely go down as a point gained.
At times you have to do the ugly side of the game, roll up your sleeves and stand firm against everything being thrown at you. In the first half Town certainly had the better of the chances. Gwion Edwards had a header saved by the keeper before Alan Judge had a couple of efforts on goal.
After the break, with the wind in their sales, Oxford looked the more likely to snatch the points. Will Norris was quick of his line to pounce on a promising looking attack, moments later Norris then made a smart save to keep the score goalless.
As the game went on, it had the feel that both teams were settling for a point. If we could win it, great, but we certainly weren’t going to lose it.
Onto the next one?
With now some momentum behind us, a Town sit in third position in League One, two points behind both Wycombe and Rotherham.
Town could have a chance to go to the summit of the league at the weekend, but Saturday’s game looks in considerable doubt at Tranmere Rovers.
If that game is not played, that gives the chasing pack the chance to gain ground on Town. Worse case scenario, Town would sit fifth, but let’s try and get the game on and avoid a Tuesday night trip to Merseyside.