United's under-18s go down to Bristol RoversA late goal from winger Sam Humphreys wasn't enough to rescue a point for Oxford United's under-18s as they lost 2-1 to a combative Bristol Rovers side.
The result means that the young U's missed out on the chance to return to the top of the South-West Youth Alliance league, while Rovers are now just two points adrift of United with two games in hand. Oxford remain second to Exeter on goal difference.
Oxford started the game well and it was against the run of play when the visitors took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark, after which the Gas took control for the next 15 minutes. United came back strongly before the break but were unable to find the breakthrough.
United continued to press in the second half but some defensive hesitation at a rare Rovers attack allowed the visitors to score their second goal and leave Oxford with too much to do. Credit to the Yellows, though, the boys never gave up and continued to look for a way back into the game. A good period of pressure climaxed with Humphreys smashing the ball into the net from close range to end a goalmouth scramble in which the Rovers defenders threw themselves about to block a couple of earlier shots.
There was still time for one last chance from a free kick but unfortunately it was overhit and the Rovers players showed good composure to see the game out.
United: B Martin, Clarke, Cundy, MacCormack, Grant, Hackett, Ashby, George, Humphreys, Calvin, Roberts