Football News: Oxford United Earn Promotion to Championship, Bolton’s Wait Continues

In a thrilling League One play-off final at Wembley, Oxford United secured their return to the Sky Bet Championship after a 25-year absence. The underdogs prevailed with a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers, courtesy of a brace from Josh Murphy.

Oxford’s triumph marks a remarkable achievement for manager Des Buckingham, a boyhood U’s fan, who took over midway through the season and guided the team to promotion. The victory came despite Oxford’s 5-0 defeat to Bolton as recently as March, with the team learning valuable lessons and executing a solid game plan to overcome the pre-match favorites.

The opening goal came in the 31st minute, as Murphy’s curling effort from inside the box took a deflection off Ricardo Santos, leaving Bolton goalkeeper Nathan Baxter helpless. Murphy then doubled the lead in the 39th minute, rounding Baxter to slot home after a superb pass from Ruben Rodrigues.

“What a job Des Buckingham has done. Taking over midway through the season and continuing the start made under Liam Manning. They were even up against it as the underdogs against Bolton, but beat the odds again at Wembley.”

  • Sky Sports’ EFL Editor Simeon Gholam

Bolton’s second-half substitutions were unable to inspire a comeback, and the team delivered a flat performance at Wembley, much to the frustration of manager Ian Evatt, who admitted it was their worst display of the season.

For Oxford, the promotion marks a remarkable turnaround, considering they were non-league as recently as 2010. The club’s supporters can now look forward to the challenge of the Championship next season, as they aim to establish themselves in the second tier for the first time since 1999.

With their return to the Championship secured, Oxford United can now focus on strengthening their squad and preparing for the rigors of the second tier, while Bolton Wanderers will have to wait at least another year for their chance to return to the Championship.

๐Ÿ”— Source