Young youth team go down to single-goal defeat in north London
Barnet 1 Oxford United 0
United went down 1-0 at Barnet on Saturday in the Merit League B.
Coach Leon Blackmore Such writes:
As we have mentioned before, we are looking at the young lads for next season and we knew that the physical side of the game against Barnet was going to give us a challenge. We started a bit sluggishly and lacked a bit of intensity when pressing. It makes it hard if you are slow out of the blocks and Niall Clayton made a couple of good saves to keep us in it at that stage.
We worked hard enough but couldn’t find a way of linking it all together so we could move from midfield into attack. We couldn’t build things but then had a good spell in the first half where we started to get down the sides and from one cross Graham Bryan had a shot that got deflected wide. We had a couple of set pieces that Freddie Niblett twice got on the end of and on another day one of those goes in.
But instead we conceded from just one lapse in concentration where our defensive line dropped off. We have worked on getting higher up the pitch to reduce the space but this time we left a bit of space and their number ten drove forward and got his shot away to make it 1-0 at half time.
The message was that on days where you are struggling you have to try and bring yourselves even closer together as a group and almost grind out results. It was definitely a day for teamwork because nobody was having a fantastic game where you thought they were going to win it out of nothing for you. We lost second balls and didn’t quite hit the areas we wanted to hit and everything became just a bit disjointed in the second half.
We did make chances, again from set pieces and one or two crosses from the left, but we didn’t seem to have any real conviction and couldn’t quite sort our feet out when shooting opportunities came on the edge of the box. Barnet defended well and in all fairness deserved it. We pick ourselves up and we go again with the Senior Cup game on Tuesday night, then we have Dagenham at home on Saturday.
United: Clayton, Carr, Niblett, Berry-Hargreaves, Chilcott, Bryan, Cowan, McCready, Crook, Hopkins, Noel-Williams