U's Youngsters Draw

Lee and Shama on the mark for development side

United’s promising development side drew 2-2 with Southend United this afternoon at the Oxford Sports and Social Club.

The Development Squad was set up this season to enable players under 21 years of age to play regular matches together and there were plenty of encouraging signs in an entertaining and always competitive game.

United fell behind after eleven minutes when a corner from the left was allowed to travel all the way to the far post for a simple finish, but The U’s came back quickly and on 14 minutes were level at 1-1 as centre-half Kenzer Lee rose to smash home a powerful header from a Josh Ashby free kick. 

Ashby, a second year scholar, and Josh Ruffels look a good partnership in centre midfield  and with Josh Shama, Ty Marsh and Callum O’Dowda inventive and a trialist right-winger looking fast and direct United seemed in good shape to go on and win the game but were behind again on 21 when Southend converted a penalty after keeper Max Crocombe tripped an on-rushing striker.

Trailing at the break the young U’s upped the tempo in the second half and played some good football. They deservedly got themselves back on level terms just after the hour when Ruffels drove forward and fed Shama on the right side of the box. He took a touch and then finished neatly across the keeper to make it 2-2.

A more experienced Southend side almost snatched it with a shot that cannoned away off of the left hand post but a draw was a fair result over the 90 minutes as coach Mickey Lewis said afterwards:

“It was a really good work out again. It was a proper competitive game and exactly what you want from these sort of games. The lads played really well, played some good football at times and will keep learning and keep improving.”

Crocombe, Bevans (Humphreys 80), Trialist, Lee, Lynn, Trialist (Hackett 70), Ruffels, Ashby, O'Dowda, Shama, Marsh

See the goals in Yellow Player