Oxford United kept up the pressure at the top of the table with a 3-2 win over Cheltenham Town on Tuesday afternoon.
Football League Youth Alliance
Tuesday 5th December
Oxford United 3
Cheltenham Town 2
Leon Blackmore Such told us:
“We have been going well in the league and the cups but it has led to a lot of games so we decided to shake things up a little and make a few changes just to freshen it up and let people get over a couple of little knocks and things. It was important that we won again because we lost to Exeter in the game before and we wanted to make sure we were nice and bright and reacted well.
“We started very well and dominated the ball. We thought Cheltenham might invite us on and then try and hit on the break and that was the case but we dealt with that really well and kept pressure on their defence as well as putting in a lot of dangerous crosses and creating some good chances. James Cowan in midfield was excellent with his distribution and it was from his pass on 25 minutes that Rex Mannings got away and crossed for the move that ended with Dan Carr heading home after the keeper had saved.
“Cheltenham are bottom of the league and we maybe got a bit complacent because we let them back into it and one simple through ball undid us and they made it 1-1 at the break so I had to remind the lads to increase their concentration and not allow a good half to go wasted.
“Fair play to them because we kept going and got ourselves 3-1 up. Owen James came off the bench and made it 2-1 when he held off his man inside the box and then Kyran Lofthouse made it three after their keeper made another save and he was alert enough to force the ball home.
“That should have been that so it was a little bit frustrating when a poor clearance allowed Cheltenham to get the ball into the box and although Niall Clayton made a good save their lad got to the ball first and made it 3-2 with five minutes to go. We showed a bit of game management so Cheltenham didn’t create any further chances, but the point we made after was that we really shouldn’t have been in that situation and should have killed the game off long before.
“A good win though and with no game at the weekend we can now build towards next week’s FA Youth Cup game at home to Dagenham. We’re really looking forward to that and hopefully the Oxford fans will come and get behind us. The last round was an exciting game so we can hopefully put in another good performance and make it through to the fourth round.”
Clayton, Hopkins, Chilcott, Berry-Hargreaves, Baker (Lofthouse), Carr, Cowan, McCreadie, Stevens, Crooks (Heap), Mannings (James)
Sub unused: McDonnell