Oxford United 1 Bury 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 24 February 2004

A stunning volley from rising star Dean Whitehead gave Oxford United a valuable point against a determined Bury side in a fiery third division game.

Whitehead latched on to a Julian Alsop header four minutes after half time to smash an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net just two minutes after the visitors had taken a controversial lead.

From a free kick, the ball found its way to Terry Dunfield eight yards from goal.

Although the Bury man looked yards offside, the linesman kept his flag down and Dunfield slotted home with ease.

Bury where then reduced to 10 men when Jonathan Daly was sent off for an horrific tackle on Oxford skipper Andrew Crosby, but the home side could not find another break through.

Over the course of 90 minutes, it was actually Bury who can be aggrieved at not taking the three points after they missed a host of first half chances which would have put the game beyond Oxford's reach.

Lee Unsworth and Gareth Seddon were the main offenders, both failing to hit the net with close range headers. But the miss of the game came from Bailey on 35 minutes, when after Dunfield's shot was brilliantly saved by keeper Andy Woodman, his shot was somehow blocked on the line by Paul Wanless with the goal at his mercy.

Oxford manager Ian Atkins said that a point was probably what his side deserved, but could not believe the Bury goal was allowed to stand.

"The linesman said to our players after the game that he did not put his flag up because he thought the ball had deflected off one of our heads. That is absolutely ridiculous," he said. "We huffed and puffed but lacked the cutting edge upfront." Of the sending off, Atkins said: "After the match the Bury management team called Andy Crosby a cheat, but if they would like to see the lacerations on Crosby's leg - he has a cut from his knee to his shin - they are more than welcome.

"It was an horrendous tackle and deserved a straight red card let alone a yellow."

Oxford United Match Reports

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