Midfielder Ivo Pekalski made his long-awaited return this afternoon when an Oxford United Development side drew 2-2 at QPR in a friendly.
The Swedish international midfielder has been out of action since injuring a knee in his first week of training after joining the U’s in the summer but was one of several players given a chance to get some minutes under their belt. Pekalski, Cameron Brannagan and Mike Williamson all made their comebacks with the first two playing an hour and Williamson playing the first 45 minutes.
The U's took the lead through powerful youth team striker Dejon Noel-Williams who showed good strength to outmuscle a defender and then finished well to make it 1-0, but Rangers hit back when they seized on a loose ball across the box to equalise.
United regained the lead with a well-worked goal that saw Josh Ashby play a nicely weighted through ball for Brannagan who struck the ball well and saw it beat the keeper for what looked like the winner, only for QPR to claim a draw with a last minute goal with the last kick of the game.
Chris Allen told us:
"It was a really solid performance. Obviously one or two of the lads were coming back from injury or haven't been playing, so the game was mainly to get them some minutes but it was also a really good experience for the young boys from the youth team who played really well and are only going to benefit from these matches. Conceding in the last minute maybe just took the gloss off things but all in all we are very pleased."
Clayton, Berry-Hargreaves, Carroll, Williamson (Carr 46), Bryan, Pekalski (Cowan 60), Ashby, Brannagan (Heap 60), Noel-Williams, James, Hopkins.