Last-gasp winner give United victory
Miles Welch-Hayes scored a last-gasp winner for United's under-18s as they beat Cheltenham 2-1 at Northcourt Road on Saturday. Charlie Hawtin had given Oxford the lead but after missing a penalty they were pegged back before Welch-Hayes late goal.
The first half was a largely uneventful affair as the sides sized each other up and struggled to come to terms with the blustery conditions.
The game burst into life in the second period as the game opened up and both teams became more competitive.
United took the lead on the hour from a corner. Hawtin evaded his marker and rose high to head the ball firmly downwards beyond the visiting keeper.
Oxford had a glorious chance to extend their lead ten minutes later. Substitute Graham Bryan's run was blocked as he tried to get on the end of a George Jeacock cross and the referee's assistant flagged for the foul, which was inside the Cheltenham area. Captain Lewis Hayden assumed responsibility but the Cheltenham goalkeeper dived to his left to keep the ball out.
The U's were punished for the missed opportunity when Cheltenham equalised from a corner of their own. The visiting player planted his header just out of reach of Jack Stevens via a slight deflection to make the score 1-1.
Cheltenham were indebted to their goalkeeper for some fine saves from Jeacock, Bryan and Jordan Graham, but there was nothing he could do to prevent United's winner. Three minutes into stoppage time a United corner found its way to the back post where Welch-Hayes was lurking. His first attempt was blocked but he buried the rebound to give United a hard-fought but well-deserved victory.
United: Stevens, Welch-Hayes, McCormack, Hawtin, Tuttle, Napa (Bryan), Hayden, Humphries, Hastings (Deacon), Graham, Jeacock
Photos by Terry Winter