Oxford United U18s were beaten 4-0 by Gillingham in the Merit League at the Bangkok Glass Training Centre this afternoon.
The Gills scored two either side of half time to sink the U's.
It was an intense start to the game in the spring sunshine, with the visitors pressing high from the get go and finding an opener within four minutes. Harrison Mole failed to clear his lines and Harry Bridle pounced on the error, firing the ball underneath Monty Marriott to give the Gills an early lead.
United struggled to create, their most dangerous moments coming from the left side when Richard McIntyre got forward to deliver or cut inside. Aaron Lacey had two chances from the full back’s set pieces but glanced one wide and didn’t expect the second to float over everyone.
On the half hour mark, Gillingham got a sloppy second, as Josh Bayliss launched a long throw in to the box, Marriott came to punch but didn't make a strong contact and the ball was tapped in at the back post by Leighton Murray.
Will Owens’ cross from the left clipped off the crossbar but that was the closest the U’s came to scoring and went into the break two goals behind.
Kasway Burton came on at the break for Nathan Bond and made a positive impact, running in behind and pressing well. On the hour mark, he made an excellent tackle on Gills’ keeper Taite Holtham and left an open goal free, but couldn’t get to his feet quite quick enough to pull one back.
From that, Gillingham went down the other end and made it three, Kai Garrett scoring an excellent goal to put the game to bed in the 63rd minute.
Bridle then got his second of the day from the spot with fifteen minutes to play, after Tobias Brenan tripped a Gills player in the box.
Burton almost scored an excellent consolation goal, beating Josh Woodliffe in a sprint, cutting inside him and firing a ferocious effort just over the bar, and Lacey hit the bar from a corner with minutes to go, but ultimately it was a poor performance from the young U’s.
A tough day at the office and consecutive defeats in the Merit League, the game was lost on physicality against an older Gillingham side. The U's now have a weekend off, giving them a chance to regroup before they face Luton Town away the following weekend.
LINEUP: Marriott, Maxwell, Lacey, Mole, McIntyre, Took-Oxley, Barrett-Doyle, Bond (Burton 45), Brenan, Tiamuna (Fowler 73), Owens