Oxford 1 Oxford Brookes 1Oxford jubilation, Brookes despair. Reactions that tell their own story of a match in which Oxford’s dark blue shirts snatched a draw that, after 90 minutes of angst, trepidation and anxiety, felt more like a victory.The pivotal, defining moment, so cruel upon Brookes, so welcomed by undeserving Oxford, came in the dying moments. Jak hazzard tangled innocuously in the area and Oxford were granted the most dubious of salvations. seemed little more than an accidental clash of heads was unbelievably rewarded with a penalty. Vince Vitali converted and iffley’s silence was transformed into shocked enrapture. Oxford’s unbeaten run miraculously remained intact, and the nightmare start of their neighbours’ prolonged.For ninety minutes on a beautiful winter’s afternoon Oxford hobbled, stalled and stumbled against a side yet to record a win this season so that, deep into injury time, it was still difficult to discern which was the team unbeaten in the league and which was the side about to sink further into the relegation zone.Before that limpest of penalties Brookes had defied their poor start to the season, producing exciting and quick football, stretching the Blues on both flanks and, with the charismatic skills of Freddie sakyendoo, at the heart of every Brooke’s move, terrifying the Oxford backline. Only a desperate challenge from paul rainsford denied the striker a clear run at goal, a theme that would continue throughout.In contrast Oxford looked flaccid, a distinction manifested in the tales of the two strikers. unlike Joel Lazarus looked increasingly ineffectual and demoralised; isolated against a mean Brookes defence. everything he tried seemed to fail. a flick in midfield went directly to a striped shirt; a pass down the line went straight out of play and a clear sight of goal remained a distant dream. Oxford created just one chance in the opening forty-five, a corner, not cleared by the visitors that could not turn in from close range. But it was to be a brief interlude in a sea of Brookes dominance.Their inevitable opener came after half an hour. corner was completely missed by Mark addeley and sakyendoo rolled the ball home. Less than a minute later Brookes almost extended their lead as inside the area, found his powerful drive deflected into Nick Baker’s arms.With the smell of blue blood Brookes surged forward and should have added at least another two before the interval. Mark elliot and were out-battled on the left and were fortunate to see a shot ripple the netting. Moments before hazzard, under pressure from the indefatigable panicked and horribly skewed a header, meant for his keeper, out for a corner. The resulting set piece caused carnage in the Oxford penalty area, with tackles and scrambled hacks at the ball flailing, the home side were relieved to see the ball float over for a goal kick.The second half saw the Blues emerge with renewed vigour, a rebirth that was quickly tempered by the visitors and a return to the lethargy of the opening period. despite vicious roars in the tunnel Oxford returned to the pitch with something of a whimper. Five minutes in and a skewed clearance from Baker fell to the feet of a Brookes striker. his curled shot was not claimed cleanly by the off-balance Baker and only on his second attempt was an embarrassing second goal averted. Sakyendoo certainly should have sealed it but his shot, from an unmarked position in the area, looped awkwardly over.There were a few signs of life from the otherwise dormant Blues, but these were rare. Left-back aaron Barkhouse came close twice in thirty seconds in the closing minutes, first having a header cleared off the line from an corner, and secondly, as he was retreating into defence, sending a dipping shot just over. such sights were, however, rare glimpses of an otherwise unimpressive Oxford side. The visitors looked relatively comfortable throughout and only the delusions of the referee, at the death, were enough to break their stranglehold. ARCHIVE: 6th week MT 2005