Very much the cliched game of two halves witnessed at a blustery Garsington this morning with the wind blowing straight down from one end to the other. Oxford had the advantage of the wind in the first half and made the most of it. Controlling a lot of the game with possession and tight play.
Oxford found Cheltenham's keeper, Allan Cresswell, in good form and he kept out everything City threw at him until a move which was started at the back by debutant Moin Dogar feeding Jack Dark who beat two players and found Harley Giles with space in front of him from the halfway line who pushed forward and unleashed an unstoppable shop into the top corner from 20+ yards.
The second quarter saw a similar pattern as City were dominant in midfield centrally and wide with Noah Alabi causing problems down the left but City's second goal came when a move down the right saw link up play by Harley Firkin and Tom Rolfe in which the former crossed and with Cresswell spreading himself well, Naz El-Hosney lifted the ball into the top corner from 7 yards.
For Cheltenham their standout striker, Rylan Gordon-Gale, was causing problems with his size and working to get the better of the City defence and had a couple of strikes on target.
After half time it was City's turn to defend the wind and Creswell's monster kicks landing close to their 18 yard box had them back-tracking and under pressure. Cheltenham gained confidence and had more play and snapped at City's players quicker that the first half and created half and full chances. One such opportunity saw a scramble after a corner when one of the Cheltenham lads crashed a great shot from 15 years against the City crossbar. This was to be the closest Cheltenham would come to scoring and City themselves squandered a couple of chance to put the game to bed when Dark, Tom Rolfe and Alex MacBryan couldn't beat Creswell's positioning or some fantastic last ditch covering defending blocks.
On the balance of play City rightly came out on top but Cheltenham will be disappointed not to have at least got a goal for their hard work with a bare 11. Good luck to them for the remainder of the season.