A first half double from Callum Crook saw Oxford United's Under18s register their first win of the season at home to Exeter City as they won 2-1.
The youngsters started brightly as both sides got used to the challenging wind sweeping across Northcourt Road. Jack Stevens had the first sight of goal from a free kick but his effort from 20 yards flew just wide.
United pressed their counterparts well in the first half and created an opportunity for themselves using the high press. Stevens closed down a defender and won possession, but Exeter’s goalkeeper was out quick to clear the danger.
No such luck was to be had second time around for the Exeter stopper after Callum Crook chased down a fantastic pass from Tyler Goodrham. The forward won the chase and prodded the ball into the net to open the scoring.
It was one-way traffic from there as Crook had another opportunity when the ball was worked to him in the area, although his shot from 12 yards was blocked well by the Exeter defence.
Stevens was involved again shortly after as he went on a tricky run which saw the midfielder burst into the area. His shot was parried, and the rebound fell to Goodrham – who celebrated his birthday this week – but his headed effort was caught by the Exeter goalkeeper.
The U’s doubled their lead with the last touch of the half from an indirect free kick on the six-yard line. Stevens rolled the ball to Crook who finished neatly into the bottom left corner.
The U's continued to play the ball around nicely in the second half, with Jordan Edwards going close. However, Exeter grabbed a goal back on 70 minutes from close range as a forward poked the ball home from a low cross.
United had work to do in the final 20 minutes as Exeter put pressure on the U's defence but they limited any chances for the visitors; a long cross from Exeter caught by the wind was the most they troubled Max Evans in the U's goal.
The U18s registered their first win of the season in what was an impressive display at Northcourt Road
UNITED: Evans, Gardner, Johnson, Chambers-Parillon, Barnett-Grant, Nosakhare, Goodrham, Trialist, Crook (Morgan, 81), Stevens, Elechi (Edwards, 63)
Report by Liam Potter