Oxford 0-1 Millwall: U's reach JPT final despite defeat
Last Updated: 02/02/16 11:51pm
Oxford booked a place at Wembley despite losing 1-0 at home to 10-man Millwall in the second leg of their Johnstone's Paint Trophy southern area final.
A goal by Lee Gregory on 54 minutes gave Millwall victory at the Kassam Stadium but the Sky Bet League 1 outfit lost 2-1 on aggregate.
Michael Appleton's League 2 side will now meet Fleetwood or Barnsley in the final at Wembley on April 3.
"Opportunities to go to Wembley don't come along that often. That's what I've said to the players - so we should enjoy it," said Appleton.
"They deserve it because every single one of them put a fantastic shift in, and our fans appreciated that.
"It's a big achievement to get to Wembley and I'm absolutely chuffed to bits, and delighted with everyone associated with the club."
Trailing by two goals from the first leg, the Lions came roaring out of the blocks and went close in the opening minutes when Steve Morison headed Shane Ferguson's cross over the bar.
It took Oxford a while to get a proper foothold in the game, Liam Sercombe sending a dipping volley just wide on 27 minutes, but moments later Jed Wallace forced U's 'keeper Benji Buchel into a low save to his left.
Gregory then finished a neat move by shooting past Buchel after good work from Aiden O'Brien to give Millwall hope.
But they were left with too much to do after centre-half Mark Beevers was sent off on 65 minutes for bringing down striker Danny Hylton when he was the last man.
From the free-kick Callum O'Dowda nearly punished Millwall further but his curling free-kick was superbly tipped aside by 'keeper Jordan Archer.