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United youth lose to the Gas

4 September 2016

Noel-Williams penalty in vain as U's beaten by Rovers

Oxford United 1 Bristol Rovers 2
Saturday 3rd September 2016

Leon Blackmore Such, who coaches the under-18s alongside Andy Whing, writes:

“After the Plymouth game the message was to try and be more solid and not give away cheap early goals. We started brightly and in the first ten minutes got at them quite well but then we gave away a poor goal defensively after a couple of mistakes led to a shot that Manny made a good save from but their lad reacted quickest to the rebound.

“Then we went into our shell a little bit and didn’t show enough character to get going again; we had been on top when they scored and that threw us back a little bit. We made a few poor decisions and weren’t as solid as we’d have liked and then from a whipped-in set-piece the ref gave handball when the ball bounced up. Manny saved the penalty but it bounced straight back to the lad who headed into an empty net to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes.

“It took us a good ten minutes to get going again but then we had a lot of ball and got into good areas but the final pass wasn’t quite right or the shot wasn’t quite there.

“We made a couple of changes and were on top again, with Shandon Baptiste distributing well in the middle and Joe Hartley beating his full back a lot and with our full backs overlapping well, and we got a goal back from Dijon Noel-Williams, who won himself a penalty when he went past a defender and was brought down. He scored from the spot and we dominated from then on, created a few good chances, but ultimately we were punished for going 2-0 down so early.

“So we’ve last two tough games in a row but they have highlighted what we need to work on. There are a lot of first years in there who are learning all the time. It’s frustrating right now but the message is that we want to see constant progress. We don’t have a game this Saturday so we can train longer and then our next game is Newport away.”

United: Agboola, Carr, Berry-Hargreaves, Chilcott, Bryan, Hartley, Baptiste, McReady (Heap 46), Hopkins (Mannings 46), Noel-Williams, Napa

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