Oxford United’s under 16s are Champions of the South of England after beating AFC Wimbledon in the southern semifinal on Saturday to set up a national final against Hartlepool United.
The youngsters were last week crowned as Champions of the South West Division and they now go on to play against the top Northern team in their age group in a national final after beating South East Chamions Wimbledon
The game started at a frantic pace with both teams competing to earn a place in the final at Derby.
Wimbledon took the lead after capitalizing on a defensive lapse after 15 minutes with a low cutback cross being fired in from the edge of the box. Oxford dug in and competed well for the remainder of the half and after 28 minutes a wide free kick delivered in to the box by Ben Mulley was helped into the goal by a Wimbledon player for an own goal to make it 1-1.
With a minute to go in the first half the U's took the lead when Mulley's corner was headed from the back post back across goal and in at the far post by Brooklyn Rogers to take a 2-1 lead into half time.
The second half was more of a competitive game with challenges from both sides becoming more aggressive as the importance of the occasion became more evident. Oxford defended well for the majority of the half, keeping Wimbledon at bay and the U's had opportunities to score and close the game out but missed a couple of chances which would have eased the nerves
Ultimately, United saw out the final few minutes and earned their place in the national final.
This will take place on December 10th and be played at Derby County’s training ground. Congratulations to all concerned.