Young U's go close in season opener
Oxford United Under 18s started their league campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat against a strong AFC Bournemouth side at Abingdon United on Saturday.
Coach Leon Blackmore-Such told us:
“It was our first home game at Abingdon and that was great. The pitch was excellent and we’d like to thank everyone for the way we were treated and the way the ground looked.
“It gave the lads a lift and we had prepared really well for a game against a Bournemouth side who won this league last year and with the club going into the Premier League have obviously had a big lift on the back of that. We had a game plan and stuck to it really well. We prevented Bournemouth from playing out from the back; George Jeacock and Malachi Napa worked very hard to make that happen. Jordan Graham was another who did well in that respect.
“We had chances in the first half - Malachi had a chance, Jordan had a header and George got through a couple of times so we were very positive and had kept possession well ourselves. Chris Allen and Michael Appleton were watching that half before they had to leave for the first team game, and they were encouraged by that 45 minutes.
“The second half was just as close. Lewis Hayden was playing his first competitive game after a car crash ended last season early and he looked strong in the middle of the park. We were toe to toe with Bournemouth for the whole game but we maybe just tired a little in the heat and didn’t set up properly against a throw in. The cross came in, the forward got across the defence and we conceded the only goal of the game.
“Disappointing to lose but we created chances and did ever so well against a side who are probably going to be as strong as we face all season. If we keep up this sort of performance then there will be plenty of positive results to come.”
Stevens, Diaz-Benitez, McCormack, Carroll, Tuttle, Lewis, Humphries (Ricketts), Napa (Hartley), Graham, Jeacock, Hastings (Bryan)