The Gas run out 3-2 winners in Abingdon
On Saturday morning United's under-18s entertained Bristol Rovers in Abingdon but despite taking the lead through Shandon Baptiste, the U's went down 3-2, with George Jeacock netting Oxford's second.
Coach Leon Blackmore-Such talked us through the game:
"It was a decent performance despite the result," he told us. "It was a very competitive game as they always are against Bristol, who we have had some great games against over the last few years. Bristol started quite brightly but we looked very organised, Cian McCormack organising us well, and we didn’t let them have any chances. That allowed us to get into the game ourselves. George Jeacock up front has pace and stretches the game and Lewis Hayden and Seth Humphries saw a lot of the ball in midfield and did well.
"We took the lead when George put Shandon Baptiste free on the right; he cut inside and bent it past the keeper with his left foot to make it 1-0. From that goal we dominated and should have had a penalty when Jordan Graham beat two and looked to have been fouled, but the ref didn’t give it. George pulls a ball across that we should have scored from as well, so it could easily have been 3-0 but then it gets to the 42nd minute and we concede from a corner that Jack Stevens comes to punch and their player volleys back in, despite Graham Bryan’s best efforts on the line. That’s two games in a row where we should have been comfortably in the lead but we go in at the break level.
"We came out in the second half and were still bright and creating chances. Then Bristol broke down the side, a cross was pulled back and we had dropped too deep which allowed the lad too much space to make it 2-1.
"We deserved to be at least level and we came back well to make it 2-2 when George Jeacock got in again to break the line; Lewis Hayden got him in and George showed good composure to slot the ball home.
We went for it and penned them back but then their lad got on to a loose ball and in a scramble we go 3-2 down. Bristol managed the game quite well from there but we still had three or four more chances and got into good areas, but we end up losing despite a decent performance. There were individual mistakes that we need to cut out but we did make chances and there is a lot of positives. There was one other encouraging thing, when Owen James came on. He is only in the under 15s and he came on for ten minutes. Having a 14 or 15-year old come in to the under-18 side reflects really well on what is happening in the youth development side of the club. He didn’t look out of place; he had high energy and that was another big positive from the day."
Stevens, Diaz-Benitez, McCormack, Ricketts, Bryan, Hayden, Humphries, Baptiste (Hastings), Napa (James), Graham, Jeacock