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Oxford Und settles Swansea

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Kemar Roofe scored twice as League Two Oxford knocked Premier League strugglers Swansea out of the FA Cup.

The in-form hosts recovered from Jefferson Montero’s sublime strike to score either side of half-time.

Liam Sercombe levelled from the penalty spot before Roofe curled into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

And Roofe finished off a counter-attack to ensure Oxford reached the fourth round for the first time in 17 years, despite a Bafetimbi Gomis strike.

Swansea’s rally came too late and the home side fully deserved their place in the next round following a vibrant performance.

The U’s are third in League Two and a number of their young players impressed against a Swansea team that surrendered possession too often and looked shaky at the back in the absence of skipper Ashley Williams.

What it means for Oxford

Michael Appleton’s side are already regarded as one of the best teams in their division, and a cup run is likely to further strengthen their promotion push.

Appleton, a former Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn manager, has been promised 50% of the gate receipts generated from the tie for player recruitment.

More than 11,600 supporters packed into the 12,500-capacity Kassam Stadium, guaranteeing a sizeable pay day for the promotion chasers.

Even when under some late pressure, they refused to go long, and in ball-playing John Lundstram, the pacy Roofe and midfield schemer Sercombe they have players who will surely interest clubs from higher divisions.

Oxford became the first fourth-tier side to eliminate Premier League opposition from the FA Cup since Swindon beat Wigan in January 2012 (though non-league Luton beat Norwich in 2013)
Oxford became the first fourth-tier side to eliminate Premier League opposition from the FA Cup since Swindon beat Wigan in January 2012 (though non-league Luton beat Norwich in 2013)

Swansea swept away

There was little to cheer for the visitors, who looked to have weathered some early pressure when they took the lead against the run of play from Montero’s backheel after a clever one-two with Marvin Emnes.

Alan Curtis’ side felt aggrieved at Oxford’s leveller – McDonald tumbling without any real contact from Kyle Bartley – but the challenge was reckless and epitomised the muddled nature of some of Swansea’s play.

It was desperate stuff – Jonjo Shelvey continually firing long-range shots over the bar – and more slack defending allowed Roofe time to cut inside and bury a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Again, for Oxford’s third, the Swansea defence could have done better as the impressive Roofe knocked the ball past Jordi Amat and raced through to finish.

There was a late rally following a Gomis goal laid on by Jack Cork, but the sheer desperation about the Premier League side will be a concern ahead of stiffer tests in the top flight.

What they said

Oxford manager Michael Appleton: “I’ve got to be delighted beating a Premier League side – but not just that, it’s the way we did it.

“I think a few people fancied us beforehand and I did too but we also wanted to play the same way we’ve been doing it all season and play with no fear.

“I’ve been saying since the start of the season that we’ve got three or four players who could play at a higher level and Kemar Roofe is one of them.

“But sometimes as a player you want to be at a football club that is also playing to your potential and hopefully they can achieve the success they want here.

“We need more days and nights like this.”

wansea manager Alan Curtis: “We made changes and there was a certain amount of rustiness but I am disappointed. We were poor for the first hour of the game.

“The team we picked was strong enough to win, but all credit to Oxford. They were the better team and deserved to win.

“The league was always going to be the priority but we wanted a cup run and to get some momentum going. It’s a huge setback for the club.”

What next?

Swansea, who made 10 changes, can now focus on Premier League survival, starting with a home game against fellow strugglers Sunderland on Wednesday.

Oxford, who have a four-point cushion in the automatic promotion places in League Two, face Millwall in the first leg of the Football League Trophy area final on Thursday.

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (4) & SUBSTITUTIONS (5)

Oxford United

  • 01 Slocombe
  • 02 Baldock
  • 05 Mullins
  • 06 Wright
  • 03 Skarz
  • 11 MacDonald(O’Dowda – 71′ )
  • 08 Sercombe
  • 18 Lundstram
  • 28 Maguire
  • 20 Taylor(Hylton – 80′ )
  • 04 Roofe(Hoban – 90′ )

Substitutes

  • 09 Hoban
  • 10 Hylton
  • 13 Buchel
  • 14 Ruffels
  • 15 O’Dowda
  • 33 Dunkley
  • 36 Evans

Swansea City

  • 13 Nordfeldt
  • 32 Shephard
  • 27 Bartley
  • 02 AmatBooked
  • 14 TabanouBooked (Kingsley – 60′ )
  • 24 Cork
  • 21 GrimesBooked (Barrow – 76′ )
  • 11 Emnes
  • 08 ShelveyBooked
  • 20 Montero
  • 18 Gomis

Substitutes

  • 17 Éder
  • 25 Tremmel
  • 35 Kingsley
  • 51 James
  • 56 Fulton
  • 58 Barrow
  • 61 Rodon
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