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Thursday 16 Jul 2020
Mark Sykes scores at Wembley but falls short with Oxford United

There were mixed emotions for Mark Sykes last Monday evening after he scored at Wembley for Oxford United who lost out in a place in the Championship after losing 2-1 to Wycombe Wanderers in the League One play-off final.

The former Glenavon midfielder’s speculative cross ended up in the back of the net to level the game just before the hour mark only for Wanderers, who were without striker Paul Smyth, to hit a winner from the penalty spot eleven minutes from time.

“I haven’t even thought about the goal,” admitted Sykes on the Oxford United website. “It was a cross no problem saying that at all, they all count - but scoring at Wembley means little when you don’t win the game.

“We tried to do our best but it wasn’t enough on the day. We knew what to expect and should have been switched on for the early goal.

“We got back into it and had chances but unfortunately on the night we just didn’t quite get there in the end.”

Paul Smyth is currently on loan from QPR and has made 19 appearances for promoted side Wycombe Wanderers scoring once and assisting twice in the league.  

Meanwhile in the Championship, Jordan Thompson came on as a substitute in the final quarter of an hour as Stoke City secured a point at Bristol City, though it was a bad night for Josh Magennis and Hull City manager Grant McCann as the Tigers were defeated 8-0 at Wigan Athletic.

Midfielder George Saville started for Middlesbrough and Paddy McNair was used from the bench as Neil Warnock’s side they eased their relegation fears with a vital 2-1 win at Reading.

Twenty-year-old Caolan Boyd-Munce again came on as a substitute in Birmingham City’s 1-1 draw at home to Charlton Athletic, while Shane Ferguson was replaced late in the game as Millwall defeated Blackburn Rovers by a single goal at the New Den.

Finally, in the Premier League Jamal Lewis played the full match as relegated Norwich City lost 1-0 at Chelsea, while ‘keeper Michael McGovern was again an unused substitute for the 16th time this season.