U's draw 1-1 with the Glovers
Football League Youth Alliance
Saturday 8th October 2016
Oxford United 1
Leon Blackmore-Such, who coaches the under 18 side alongside Andy Whing, writes:
“It was an early start but we wanted to try and build on a positive couple of weeks with a good win over Portsmouth and a friendly at Wolves, but going to Yeovil is always tough and a hard, physical game where you can find it hard to get your usually rhythm and flow. We had prepped the boys on that and had a particular game plan. We didn’t really make that happen: credit to Yeovil who worked extremely hard to stop us, so at times it was hard to play and get the ball into good attacking areas.
“It was a bit scrappy as a result , neither side could get much possession and it became a bit about just trying to pick up second balls and play from there. After a while we managed to get in the lead around the half hour when Graham Bryan found a bit of space in the box and slotted home. That keeps his good goalscoring form going which is a big positive for us.
“Malachi Napa was a bit of a shining light for us in the first half, trying to make things happen in a close game, With Charlie Hawtin also a good presence at the back.
“At half time we reflected and were honest with the boys: we were a goal up but it wasn’t the performance we were looking for . We went out in the second half and tried to play our own way but unfortunately we got caught with a ball in from the left and a back post header to make it 1-1.
“The goal livened us up and we got into better areas. Dejon Noel-Williams had a couple of shots blocked, their keeper made a good save, Ryan Crooks from our under 16s came on and had good energy and Harry McDonnell came on and did OK as well. So there were good signs even if we could only get a draw.
“It was a hard test and sometimes you take more away from that sort of game. Hopefully we can build on that against Exeter on Saturday.”
Agboola, Carr, Berry-Hargreaves, Hawtin, Chilcott (McDonnell 60), Heap, Napa, Mannings (Crooks 60), Hopkins, Noel-Williams, Bryan