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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

Murphy double ensures Oxford graduate with honours to end 25-year exile



League One Play-Off Final

Bolton Wanderers (0) 0

Oxford United (2) 2 Murphy 31, 42


Wembley-born Josh Murphy savoured a glorious return to his manor as Oxford United defied their underdog tag to return to football's second tier after a quarter of a century's absence.


Beaten 5-0 by Bolton during the regular season, and having finished two places and 10 points below the third placed Trotters, the smart money was on Wanderers getting back to the Championship after their five year wait.


But the match winner - brother of Newcastle star Jacob Murphy- had other ideas, netting twice in 11 first-half minutes as Des Buckingham's men seized control. First he drifted in from the left to curl a shot that deflected off the head of skipper Ricardo Santos and past keeper Nathan Baxter. Then he seized on a chip through from Ruben Rodriguez to round Baxter and find the net from a tight angle.


It is quite the double for Rodriguez too as he was part of the Notts County side that won last season's National League final at Wembley.


Murphy came close to grabbing a hat trick after the break as the disappointment Trotters struggled to find a way back.


Former QPR defender Ian Evatt did a great job in almost guiding Bolton to automatic promotion after a three-way fight with Portsmouth and Derby. But he could not inspire his team to get the job done here.


In fact it was a baffling no show from the heavily fancied Trotters. Veteran striker Cameron Jerome came off the bench and headed a chance over the bar but the U's never looked like losing their grip on proceedings.


Trotters: (3-1-4-2) Baxter - Jones, Santos Toal - Sheeran (Iredale 66) - Dacres-Cogley, Ogbeta (Adeboyejo , Maghoma (Dempsey 49), Thompson - Charles (Jerome 66), Collins


U's: (4-3-3) Cumming - long, Moore, Brown, Bennett - Rodriguez (McEachran 79), Brannagan (McGuane 65), Goodrham - Dale, Harris Murphy


Attendance: 70,472

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