Banbury United 2 Oxford United 4. Full time report
James Roberts scored a four minute second half hat-trick as the U’s ended pre-season with a 4-2 win at Banbury United tonight.
Roberts slotted home a 56th minute penalty, then finished a great move with a volley on 58 before thumping home a downwards header on the hour to cap an impressive performance from the young U’s’ Development side.
United took a look at three trialists in a team that featured Matt Bevans, Sam Long, Freddie Grant, Aidan Hawtin, Callum O’Dowda, Humphreys, Josh Shama and Roberts.
O’Dowda and Roberts had both gone close before the purple-shirted U’s took the lead in the 16th minute courtesy of a calm finish from Humphreys as he volleyed in a Josh Shama cross at the far post.
Shama then saw a decent chance deflected wide before Banbury came more into the game and forced one or two half chances at the other end. However Humphreys forced another good save on 36 as he cut inside and drilled in a low shot to force a decent save from the keeper.
United hadn’t taken their chances and were made to pay with five minutes to go before the break as one of the trialists tripped Darius Brown inside the box and Abrahams slotted home the penalty to make it 1-1 at the interval.
However the second half was all United and once Roberts converted the penalty following a foul on Shama there was only one winner. Two minutes later Josh Ashby picked out the hard-working Matt Bevans whose cross picked out Roberts for a smart finish from ten yards out.
Two minutes later and the Aylesbury youngster rose to head home a cross from the right to seal his treble with his seventh goal of a very impressive pre-season.
Banbury had battled hard and made it 4-2 with a volley from a corner but United might have extended their lead with Shama denied on 75 by a fine save from former United youngster Josh Hill in the Banbury goal.
The night though belonged to Roberts who has surely forced his way into the first team plans as United prepare for their opening league game at home to Burton this Saturday
Trialist, Bevans, Trialist, Long, Grant (Cundy 89), Trialist, Hawtin (Ashby 46), O'Dowda, Humphreys, Shama (Conte 78), Roberts (George 76)