Bolton 0-2 Oxford United: Josh Murphy nets Wembley brace to secure promotion to Championship

At the double: Josh Murphy fired Oxford into the Championship (Getty Images)
At the double: Josh Murphy fired Oxford into the Championship (Getty Images)

Josh Murphy scored twice as Oxford beat Bolton 2-0 at Wembley to earn promotion to the Championship.

It is 25 years since Oxford last played in the second tier of English football, with Bolton spending more than a decade in the top-flight during that period, but Murphy, born in Wembley, was the hero as he netted a first-half brace.

Murphy, the twin brother of Newcastle winger Jacob, is now out of contract, and Oxford boss Des Buckingham swiftly made it clear he wanted to ensure the 29-year-old stayed at the club.

"It was wonderful to see Josh get his two goals," said Buckingham. "He has been a delight to work with since I walked through the door."

When asked if he could keep the player, the Oxford boss added: "I hope so. I said that to him when we were up lifting the trophy.

"We will do as much as we possibly can to keep Josh. We want good people at this club. But he is a very good footballer and fits our style of football.

"If we can keep him and he wants to stay, we will do everything we can and it won't be for the lack of trying."

Bolton, who finished third in League One this season and beat Oxford 5-0 just a couple of months ago, failed to register a single shot on target in a hugely disappointing performance.

They missed out on the chance to follow Portsmouth and Derby in securing promotion, and Ian Evatt was hugely frustrated when he reflected on his side’s “unrecognisable” display, leaving them facing a sixth season out of the Championship.

"That was our worst performance of the season on the biggest stage," Evatt said. "We were unrecognisable to what we normally are.

"There wasn't any one player in white who can come away and think we won our individual duel or gave our best version of ourselves. There was so much wrong. It is hard to point your finger at one particular thing.

"Mentally, we were not tough or strong enough. From minute one we looked slow, loose with the ball and that's everything we are not. This has to be seen as failure. There is no other way of saying it. You can't sugarcoat it.

"This a day to hurt and wonder how we can be so off colour and so unrecognisable and - at the moment - I don't have the answer."