Oxford United U19s were held to a goalless draw by Bristol Rovers at the Bangkok Glass Training Centre this afternoon.
The Rovers coach arrived late and United’s extra minutes of preparation looked to have an impact from the off.
Aidan Elliott-Wheeler combined with Tobias Brenan and broke free down the right twice in the opening five minutes, once denied by a strong save from Ollie Philips and the other saw Rovers Captain Will Larvin make an important tackle at the back post to steal the ball off the arriving Enrique Tiamuna.
A yellow card was dished out for either side within ten minutes, Zaide Took-Oxley being cautioned for the Yellows and that set the tone of a bitty game.
Then, Bristol came into the fixture and fashioned their first chance in the 19th minute. Jarmarni Languis found space in the box and curled an effort goalward, but Monty Marriott made a good save and the away side couldn’t make the most of the rebound, blasting wide.
Brenan was United’s brightest spark, picking up the ball in good areas and playing delicate threaded passes from midfield.
The wind swirled and United didn’t help themselves by playing into it at times and it was goalless at the break.
Bristol had a good chance quickly after the game was restarted, when their corner, whipped by the wind, was saved by Marriott before they had two stabs at the ball which United cleared.
In the 63rd minute it looked as if United had the lead. Kasway Burton poked a cross to Tiamuna who got a touch to it but the ball was somehow scrambled off the line by Philips.
Nathan Bond replaced Richard McIntyre with fifteen minutes to play. Philips then frustrated United again in the 79th minute, pulling off a fantastic save as Erion Zabeli headed the ball goalward from Aaron Lacey’s knockdown, and then once more in added time, getting down low to deny Tiamuna.
United were left rueing the early chances they missed and were forced to settle for the draw.
LINEUP: Marriott, Maxwell, Lacey, Zabeli, McIntyre (Bond 74), Franklin, Took-Oxley, Brenan, Elliott-Wheeler, Burton, Tiamuna