Smith blames Duffy for draw
Jim Smith

Oxford boss Jim Smith pulled no punches in his criticism of his leading goalscorer Rob Duffy following their 0-0 draw at 10-man Kidderminster.

Smith feels Duffy should have contributed more to the team at Aggborough Stadium, and was also angered by his striker's fifth booking of the season, ruling him out of the match at Cambridge on October 20.

"It was an absolutely stupid booking," Smith told the club's official website. "He's got to get his feet back on the ground and score goals, not be a prima donna."

The U's boss added: "He'll be missed, that's for sure, for his aerial presence, although we won't miss him when he's greedy, like in the first half when he should have made Bash (Steve Basham) a goal.

"You should play for the team, and score for the team. It was a hard skill anyway. I wouldn't have minded had he taken it down and shot, but to volley it, the skill he was asking of himself from that angle.

"What he should have done was pull it down, and pass it square for Basham to put it in the net."

It could be harsh on Oxford's 11-goal striker, but Smith believes it is the kind of constructive criticism Duffy needs to learn from to develop into an even better all-round player.

"He's got to learn things like that. He's a kid, and what he's done is not bad at this level. Hopefully tonight will bring his feet back firmly on the ground," said Smith.

The U's are still unbeaten in 15 games, but Smith felt his team should have finished Harriers off in the first half, even before they had Marcus Bignot sent off for a professional foul in the 60th minute.

"The only thing that let us down in the first half was not scoring. We did everything we did do, but we didn't score," he added.

"I think if we'd scored we would have won comfortably, but we didn't score and for some unknown reason we didn't go on from there in the second half.

"There were a few tired legs, to be fair, and then they had a player sent off.

"It always is the case when you're playing against ten men, it's often more difficult than playing against 11."

Oxford's lead at the top of the Nationwide Conference has been reduced to four points as second-placed Dagenham & Redbridge beat St Albans 4-2 at home.

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Conf North South
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Dag & Red 36
Weymouth 33
York City 27
Exeter 26
Gravesend 26
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Cambridge Utd 16
Kidderminster 16
Tamworth 16
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