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Managers explain what caused Oxford v Portsmouth to be paused for 20 minutes

Both managers explain why Oxford United v Portsmouth was paused by around 20 minutes with Sky saying an incident in the tunnel.

The second half of the U’s 3-2 League One win was indeed halted after a medical incident in the tunnel during the break at the Kassam Stadium.

The second half kicked off at 4:25pm, around 20 minutes after it was initially supposed to, with an incident being reported by staff.

The match eventually resumed where a ten-man Pompey side fell to a last-gasp defeat when substitute Nathan Holland scored a beauty to send the Blues into the bottom half of the table.

Asked about the incident that led to confusion among those in attendance, Cowley said an Oxford staff member suffered a head injury, leading to him going to hospital.

“I don’t know. One of their support staff fell over and hit his head quite badly,” said Cowley.

“I just want to send all of our thoughts to him.

“I think he’s okay from what I’ve been told, which is good news. I just want to send our thoughts to him and his family.”

Cowley did deny rumours on social media that the incident was as a result of an altercation between opposition players, that and talk of a fan from the away end making their way to the tunnel before medics and police rushed in.

Joe Morrell was sent off in the first half and there were 11 further yellows, but Cowley was adamant that nothing of that nature took place.

“Not that I was are of,” added Cowley.

“No. The players were all in the changing room.”

U’s head coach Karl Robinson was reluctant to say too much about the incident, confirmed it wasn’t a player, adding: “Someone fell and just banged their head. It was nothing, there was no tremendous malice in that.”


At half time during today’s game against Portsmouth there was a situation that required medical attention in the tunnel area.

We thank the medical services for their swift response and the match referee who asked both teams to remain in their changing rooms to allow the paramedics room to check that all was well.

We would also like to thank fans of both teams for their patience while the second half was delayed.

Oxford got off to a dream start as Luke McNally got on the end of Billy Bodin’s sixth minute corner with a hard downward header past keeper Gavin Bazunu.

Pompey went level four minutes later with Ronan Curtis flicking the ball up to keep it in play and then sent it in for Michael Jacobs to tap home.

However the visitors were dealt a blow in the 16th minute when Joe Morrell’s high challenge on midfielder Brannagan was adjudged to be dangerous and referee Sam Barrott showed him a red card.

After a 20-minute delay to the second half because of a reported medical emergency, the travelling side punished the U’s with a devastating counter-attack in the 51st minute, finished off by Curtis from Jacobs’ pass.

Brannagan hit home an unstoppable angled drive with nine minutes left on the clock to make it 2-2.

And in the seventh of 10 minutes of stoppage time, Holland produced a goal worth seeing to earn playoff chasing Oxford all three points.

Twitter users reacted as managers explain why Oxford v Portsmouth was paused by around 20 minutes…

@stevebone1: Someone other than a player slipping over and hitting their head does not, you wouldn’t think, cause the restart to be delayed by 25 mins.

@brendonvbone: It would be the same as if a fan had fallen ill. New protocol means games are stopped for medical incidents

@Fred_ugly: Wait for the Sue Gray report.

Referee will re-appear with his guide-dog.

@BlueArmyAlex: Jokes aside head injuries scare me, one awkward fall and that’s it. Hope they’re well.

@PompeyArchie: Who’s sparked the ref then

@dan_oufc: Game delayed for 2nd half. Loads of police and medics sent down the tunnel…. what’s happened here then?! #oufc

@DBoufc: Has Ronan fell over his massive fucking head?

@oufcgoldengreen: Apparently Curtis no where near incident but still fell down and moaned anyway

@0xf_jay7: Wondered why there was loads of medics going through the tunnel. Hope nothing too serious #OUFC

@Sam_OUFC: Curtis stubbed his toe?

BigAl Crowder: I hope whoever needed help is fine, the win will cheer them up no doubt.

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