Oxford United's under 18s were beaten by Yeovil on Saturday
Exeter City 4
Oxford United 1
Leon Blackmore Such writes:
“This was the fifth away game in a row, all long distance so we have had a tough start to the season but we have done well with the results and performances so this was a little bit out of character. Exeter are a good Academy and we usually have challenging games against each other, and this time we took the lead when we won a corner which James Cowan delivered and Matt Berry-Hargreaves scored from after just five minutes.
For about 20 minutes both sides saw plenty of possession and kept pressing each other and we won a lot of free kicks and throw ins by getting after them and working really hard. That was pleasing and Albie Hopkins did well coming off the line and Owen James looked dangerous, but we kept getting to the box and the move would break down and eventually we stopped doing it and that allowed Exeter to put pressure on us.
Kyran Lofthouse came off slightly dazed from a challenge and before we could make a change he was still struggling and didn’t see a run that he usually would, so their man got in and made it 1-1. We defended OK for the rest of the half and were level at the break and might have been in front really because we had a couple of chances including a header at the back post from Freddie Niblett.
We just needed to pick up the ball a bit more but early in the second half they got on to a poor clearance straight away and caught us trying to play out and scored to make it 2-1. If you take those sort of risks you have to do it in the right areas, so we will learn from that goal hopefully. But if you have read these reports before you’ll see that I have talked about defending the back post better and once again we didn’t do that and went 3-1 down.
Not long after, they broke out and Matt has had a tussle with their lad on the ground and the ref has shown a red card, so then it’s how we respond. 3-1 down away from home and with ten men it was a tall order; Jack Stevens who had come on for Kyran in the first half, had to be sacrificed and we went to just one up top to try and close them down. We worked hard and were disciplined , but if we ha d worked like that and shown the same application with eleven then we might have got a better result.
The pleasing thing was that we didn’t crumble, we showed a bit of spirit and only conceded again when Niall Clayton made a save at his near post and they reacted to get the loose ball in.
So 4-1, not what we went for and a bit frustrating but losses should hurt you and you go again. We have a friendly on Wednesday against Mickey Lewis’s University side and then a home game against different opposition in Forest Green Rovers on Saturday where we can put last Saturday’s result right.
It has been a decent start considering we have spent so much time on the road. You’d probably take two wins and two draws from five away games and after Forest Green we have Bournemouth and Swindon who are the top two so there is plenty to look forward to.”
Clayton, Carr, Berry-Hargreaves, Niblett, Chilcott, Hopkins, Cowan, Heap, Lofthouse (Stevens 25, McCreadie 55), Jellis (Sampford 60), James