Oxford run out 4-0 winners at the ASM Stadium
Two goals from Patrick Hoban and fine strikes from Callum O'Dowda and Sam Humphreys earned Oxford United a 4-0 win at Thame United this evening.
In their splendid new home kit, United started brightly once again with O’Dowda sending in two early efforts and a James Roberts snapshot drifting wide on ten minutes. Hoban had a good effort well saved by home keeper Lee Farrow on 21, O’Dowda forced the keeper into an excellent save at the base of his left-hand post on 24 and a goal was definitely on the cards as Thame dug in.
The opener came on 25 when Josh Ruffels swung in a deep corner. Hoban got up well and powered his header down to make it 1-0.
Thame almost hit back when a Luke Ricketts shot was parried by Max Crocombe and Dan West reacted first but stabbed his effort past the far post, but on 29 it was 2-0 as O’Dowda scored a peach of a goal. Neat build up got the ball to O’Dowda on the penalty spot. First heading left with his back to goal, he shifted to his right and then smashed his shot into the roof of the net before Farrow could move.
Oxford were 2-0 up and with the outcome all but decided by the half hour it was time for United’s youngsters to press their claims to be in the starting line up when the season truly begins. Roberts worked hard and sent a cross-shot just wide of the mark on 32, Long looked excellent alongside the impressive Chey Dunkley at the back and the whole side looked strong and powerful on the fine surface at the ASM Stadium.
The third goal came on 54 minutes and was a well-worked effort that saw Ruffels free Roberts who drew the keeper and slid the ball to his left for Hoban to apply the finishing touch. The Irish striker had done well throughout the game and deserved the goals but perhaps the pick of them came on 76 as sub Humphreys returned a cleared ball with real venom from the edge of the box to make it 4-0.
Four goals, excellent performances all round and a win. Good work all round.
Crocombe, Hawtin, Long, Dunkley, Grant (Cundy), Ashby, Collins (Triallist), Ruffels, O’Dowda (Humphreys), Hoban (Triallist), Roberts
Report by Chris Williams, Pictures Darrell Fisher