Portsmouth's play-off opponents Oxford fall to friendly defeat at Reading

Oxford started their preparations to face Pompey in the League One play-off semi-finals with a 2-1 defeat at Reading.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 4:51 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 4:52 pm

Karl Robinson's men were in friendly action for the first time since the season was curtailed amid the coronavirus crisis.

The U’s were due to play a Championship side earlier this month but had to cancel the clash following two members in the Kassam Stadium camp testing positive for Covid-19.

Liverpool loanee Ben Woodburn opened the scoring for Oxford with a cool volley in the third of three 30-minute periods.

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His effort was cancelled out by a Charlie Adam header before Danny Loader notched the winner for the Royals.

Oxford and ex-Pompey keeper Simon Eastwood made three fine saves to ensure the visitors stayed in the game.

U’s boss Robinson told his club's website: ‘It was another important step for us.

‘Everyone got minutes and it was a proper competitive game – exactly what we need right now.

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson. Picture: Graham Hunt

‘It was hard work, Reading are a couple of weeks ahead of us in terms of fitness but we knew that and I’d say we got plenty out of the game both in terms of fitness and sharpness.

‘It was great to see Woody get the goal as well. He has worked very hard to get fit again and over all we have to be pleased with the workout if not the final result.’

The Blues drew 1-1 at Premier League-chasing Brentford on Sunday, with Marcus Harness on target for Kenny Jackett men.

Pompey welcome Oxford to Fratton Park for the first leg of their semi-final on Friday, July 3 (5.30pm) before travelling to the Kassam Stadium for the return leg on Monday, July 6 (5pm).

The winners will then face Fleetwood or Wycombe in the final at Wembley on Monda, July 13 (7pm) for a spot in the Championship.