Limerick winger impresses as Oxford Utd boost League One promotion hopes

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick winger impresses as Oxford Utd boost League One promotion hopes

Ballingarry's Anthony Forde is targetting promotion to the Sky Bet Championship with Oxford Utd via the play-offs Picture: Oxford Utd twitter

EXCITING Limerick winger Anthony Forde was sprung from the substitutes' bench in the second half as Oxford United boosted their SkyBet League One promotion hopes with a hard fought away play-off draw with Portsmouth.

Ballingarry man Forde was introduced as a second half substitute as Oxford fought back from 1-0 down to secure a precious 1-1 draw in their SkyBet League One play-off semi-final first leg clash at Fratton Park.

This was the first League One game to be played after a 115-day break owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oxford will now host Portsmouth in their second leg of their League One promotion semi-final play-off at the Kassam Stadium on Monday next, 5pm, live on Sky Sport football.

Both sides were tied on 60 points in the league table when the competition was halted down to the pandemic in March.

Fleetwood Town and Wycombe Wanderers are facing off in the second League One semi-final promotion play-off.

Twenty six-year-old Forde, who represented Ballingarry AFC at schoolboy level, joined Karl Robinson’s Oxford side on a two-year deal in July 2019.

The exciting winger had made 114 appearances for Rotherham in three seasons, having joined from Walsall in 2016.

Former Rep of Ireland U21 international Forde was joined in signing for Oxford last summer by highly rated Wales forward Ben Woodburn, who joined on a season-long loan from Liverpool.

Forde, a former student at Colaiste na Trocaire, Rathkeale, is son of Noel and Christine and joined Rotherham in July 2016.

He had previously represented Wolverhampton Wanderers, Scunthorpe United and Walsall in a highly successful professional career.