Under-18s beat Bournemouth in the FL Alliance Cup
Oxford United's youth team began their Football League Youth Alliance Cup campaign with a hard-fought victory over AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, thanks to Sam Humphreys first half strike.
United began the game brightly and came close to opening the scoring when left-back David Lynn sliced an effort wide of the near-post.
James Roberts was the next to threaten the Bournemouth goal when only a fingertip save prevented the in-form striker from adding to his tally for the season.
It wasn't long until the home side capitalised on this bright period of play. Jermaine Udumaga freed Humphreys on the edge of the area and his low drive beat the goalkeeper to his left to give Oxford the lead on the half-hour mark.
Bournemouth were exhibiting the short passing game that is a feature of their youth sides, but Chris Allen's boys prevented the visitors from testing goalkeeper Eddie Cavanagh in a tightly contested first half.
United began the second half slowly and captain Sam Long had to be alert to block after a Bournemouth striker had wriggled free in the Oxford area.
Udumaga was then denied by a fine save after good work by Callum O'Dowda on the break, before Roberts saw his own curling effort tipped over the bar by a busy Bournemouth goalkeeper.
Substitute Jacob Hughes won the ball in the Bournemouth half and squared for Roberts, who was denied once more as the goalkeeper raced from the line to block with his legs.
With the final action of the game Bournemouth won a header from a corner, but Cavanagh flung himself to his right to tip the ball over the bar and guarantee the win.
Oxford United: Cavanagh, Wright, Long, Niangasa, Lynn (Hughes 70), Humphreys, Martin, Ashby, O'Dowda, Udumaga, Roberts.