Impressive goals from old boy Kemar Roofe and Stuart Dallas gave Leeds United a 2-0 win at Elland Road this afternoon as Oxford's pre-season ended with defeat against their Championship opposition.
United were far from outclassed or outfought. There was a debut for Mike Williamson, who showed all his experience and was very vocal at the heart of a well-drilled back four, where the versatile Canice Carroll had an excellent game at left back and Curtis Nelson led by example as skipper.
The first half hour was very even, with the U’s playing some delightful football and keen to move the ball swiftly to wide men Marvin Johnson and Rob Hall. However, on 35 it was their predecessor who showed them the route to goal when he took a ball down at the back post and took two defenders out of play at the same time. Eastwood did his best but there was that familiar cold-hearted confidence as Roofe sunk the ball inside the near post to make it 1-0.
United had been a match for their higher-league opposition and after Eastwood made his usual great save to deny top scorer Chris Wood, it was the men in black who enjoyed a good start to the second half, with the terrific Ryan Ledson seeing two well-struck efforts go just wide of the mark in the first ten minutes.
There were changes at the hour mark, with Jack Payne making his first appearance after arriving on loan for the season from Huddersfield. His first touch was a powerful effort from the edge of the box that was blocked by a brave Leeds defender, but he showed good touches and will be a major asset for United when the season begins fully at Oldham next Saturday.
There were more subs and more brave blocks but the game was clinched in the 83rd minute when sub Dallas shuffled to the left cormer of the box and bent a magnificent effort into the far corner, beating even the dive of Eastwood to make it 2-0 and game over.
Leeds look strong but once again United had held their own against higher-league opposition and look to have a solid base to build from next week.
See you at Boundary Park...
Eastwood, Ribeiro (Tiendalli 61), Nelson (Martin 74), Williamson (Raglan 61), Carroll (Cobas Ladrero 74) Hall (Narsingh 61) Ledson, Ruffels (Fernandez 71), Johnson (Rothwell 68), Henry (Payne 61), Obika (Thomas 55)