Long and Graham on the mark as Development Side win
A young Oxford United Development side were 2-0 winners over a similarly youthful Oxford City Development side in a friendly at Court Place Farm this morning. A first half goal from Sam Long and a second half strike from scholar Jordan Graham earned the U’s victory in a game played on a 3G surface.
United took the opportunity to mix some of their promising scholars with their first year pros. Jack Stevens played in goal behind a back line of Charlie Hawtin, Robbie Cundy, Long and Freddie Grant. The midfield saw Aidan Hawtin and Sam Humphreys provide width outside Josh Ashby and Jeremy Balmy while James Roberts and Josh Shama started up front.
Roberts and Shama both had good early efforts but it was centre-half Long who provided the opener on 28 minutes as he met Ashby’s corner from the left to volley home from eight yards out. Shama fired over when well placed, Balmy saw a shot go close and Grant had a late shot saved as United dominated the first half without turning their supremacy into goals.
City almost took advantage of that on 55 with a free kick that flashed into the side-netting, and Stevens then had to make a decent save at the striker’s feet on 56 as United were made to work hard to hold on to their advantage.
However they came back strongly with Humphreys striking the bar from the edge of the area and Balmy and Shama again going close.
Sub AJ George had a shot cleared off the line on 72 but then on 77 Long set off on a surging run from the back that carried him past three men. He then won a challenge to work the ball as far as sub Graham who turned sharply and fired the ball home from six yards to make it 2-0.
City had done well and were unlucky to see an 80th minute effort bounce wide after striking the post but United were worthy winners with Long the driving force and Balmy showing a good range of passing in the second half particularly.
Stevens, C Hawtin, Cundy, (Ricketts 82), Long, Grant (George 68), A Hawtin, Ashby, Balmy, Humphreys, Shama (Jeacock 72), Roberts (Graham 72)