Oxford grab derby day spoils as Di Canio rues missed chances

Oxford United picked up their first away win at fierce rivals Swindon for 38 years with a 2-1 win at the County Ground.

James Constable scored either side of a Matt Ritchie effort in an action-packed first half to earn the U’s a hard-fought victory.

Their hosts will feel hard done by after creating numerous chances throughout the game but it was set pieces that proved to be their undoing as Constable headed home first from a corner and then from a Peter Leven free-kick.

Debutant Leon Clarke had the pick of the chances for Swindon as he missed a glaring chance to level by blazing his effort over the bar after being played in by Ritchie.

The fact that Constable proved to be the match-winner for the U’s would have given the day even more satisfaction for the visitors after Di Canio taunted the striker with some bizarre jibes in the lead-up to the match.

The Italian told BBC Wiltshire: “He’s a big Swindon fan through and through – the Oxford fans know it.

“It would be good to bring him here but I don’t think Oxford will let him go, especially with the rivalry.”

The U’s fans certainly saw the funny side of it and mocked the manager’s strong Lazio allegiances by unveiling a ‘Di Canio is a Roma fan’ banner that was swiftly confiscated by the stewards before kick-off.

The day got worse for Di Canio when he was sent to the stands following a vociferous protest to an offside decision but there were no excuses in his post-match interviews as he told the Swindon Advertiser they need to improve on defending set plays: “Obviously we have to improve set plays. We will work more on this situation because we cannot imagine that in the three games we have lost the goals have come from set plays.

“If we keep going and play as we did I can’t imagine we will lose many games because today was one of the best performances since I have been here.”

Swindon currently sit 19th in the League Two table and Di Canio looks to have a job on his hands after overseeing a summer of great change that has seen 14 new faces make their way through the County Ground gates.

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