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Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final: Barnsley v Oxford United – preview

1 April 2016

Barnsley versus Oxford United – a final that pits two in-form teams against one another, in a first cup meeting between the pair.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final is set for an exciting climax, and on Sunday 3rd April 2016 either Barnsley or Oxford will win The Football League Trophy for the first time in history.

Road to Wembley

Barnsley's route to Wembley started with two 2-1 wins on the road, at Scunthorpe United in Round 1 and Bradford City in Round 2. They also won 2-1 in the Area Quarter-Finals at home to York City, with Ben Pearson and Adam Hammill finding the net.

The Tykes needed penalties to see off Wigan Athletic in the Area Semi-Finals after drawing 2-2, at a time when they sat rock bottom of Sky Bet League 1, and then came Fleetwood Town in the Area Final.

They played out two 1-1 draws in each leg meaning penalties would decide who prevailed, and it was Barnsley who rose to the challenge with Hammill striking the winning spot-kick.

Oxford's Trophy trail got off to an explosive start when they overcame fierce rivals Swindon Town 2-0 in Round 2, before recorded the same scoreline at Dagenham & Redbridge in the Area Quarter-Finals.

They beat Yeovil Town 3-2 in the Area Semi-Finals, and eased to a 2-0 success at Millwall in the first leg of their Area Final thanks to a Kemar Roofe brace. They lost the second leg 1-0, but their place at Wembley was confirmed.

Cup history

While Barnsley and Oxford are yet to meet in cup competition, they share rich histories.

The Tykes lifted the FA Cup in 1912, have been promotion regulars over the years, and also reached a Play-Off Final in 2000.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy presents the club with an opportunity to add a second trophy to their cabinet, but also galvanize them ahead of the climax of their promotion chase in Sky Bet League 1.

The same goes for Oxford, given the U's are flying high in Sky Bet League 2, and this match is a return to Wembley for the second time in six years.

On that day in 2010 it was promotion back to The Football League via the Conference Play-Offs, but Oxford are better known for their against-the-odds League Cup triumph of 1986.

Head-to-head

In total, the two clubs have met on 22 occasions over a 37-year period.

Barnsley hold the advantage in terms of head-to-head statistics having won 10 of those games. Oxford have seven victories while five meetings have resulted in a draw.

The final will be the first clash between the pair in over 17 years. They last went head-to-head at the Manor Ground on 30th January 1999 when a 60th-minute strike from Dean Windass was enough to clinch a 1-0 victory for United.

Barnsley won the reverse fixture that season by the same scoreline at Oakwell, with John Hendrie's goal just before the interval proving to be the winner.

Read more: A closer look at the Barnsley and Oxford head-to-head record

Match Officials

Andy Woolmer has been appointed as the referee for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, and he'll be assisted at Wembley by Gary Hilton and Steve Rushton.

Phil Gibbs will be the fourth official, while Ravel Cheosiaua is the reserve assistant referee.

Read more: Andy Woolmer to referee Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final

Don't miss it!

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final will be covered on The Football League's social media channels, with behind the scenes content and match updates.

> Facebook.com/FootballLeague

> Twitter.com/JP_Trophy

> Instagram.com/footballleague

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