Wilder made two changes at half time, the forementioned Constable and Worley taking the places of Franks and McLaren respectively. A new shape of 4-4-2 with Whing now at right back and Damian Batt on the right hand side of midfield briefly threatened to put us back in the game. Constable and Smalley both were first to crosses but their weak headers only found the arms of Steve Simonsen in the United goal.
Chasing the game, I thought perhaps we might see a glimpse of youth team prospect Tyrone Marsh, but his chance of making his Oxford United debut was ended when Peter Leven finally gave in to injury, Josh Payne taking his place as midfield playmaker. Smalley and Constable were showing some signs of an understanding and perhaps in future weeks may build a successful partnership but the game was finally killed off when Clarke came for a speculative cross into the box and didn't do very well. Typical of the game, the first shot was deflected to Ryan Flynn who finished with ease into the roof of the next past Whing and Wright on the goal line.
To be honest, I expected a mass exit from the away end at this point but instead the fans raised themselves to sing the loudest of the whole game for the last twenty minutes. "Lets pretend we scored a goal" was almost perfectly timed as a Smalley header ended up in Simonsen's arms once again. The celebration of four imaginary goals and the "3-0 and you F***ed it up" chant raised smiles right across the away end. A standing ovation greeted the final whistle.
Annoyingly, the 2nd round draw pitched the Blades at home against Torquay, a game which I feel would have been very winnable for ourselves. I'm sure the Sheffield United fans will flock to Bramall Lane to see that one. A crowd of just over 7000 was surprising but expected judging by the comments on their fan forums. The FA Cup is over for another season and we move on to a tough game at Crawley next week, I'm sure true gentleman Steve Evans will welcome us to the Broadfield Stadium with open arms...