United fell to their first defeat of this pre-season as they were beaten by a lively Hampton & Richmond Borough side at the Beveree. United took an early lead through young first-year professional Dejon Noel-Williams, but the Beavers struck back to equalise before half-time and then take the lead in the second period.
In the bright sunshine it was United that started brighter and they were ahead within three minutes. Right-back Tony McMahon found himself deep in the home side's half and pulled the ball back for James Henry. His cross to the far post was met on the full by Noel-Williams whose downward header was almost unsaveable.
Oxford continued to make the running in the first half of the first half, with Samir Carruthers and triallist Michael Doughty in particular catching the eye with their clever passing and neat control. Henry went close but couldn't find the net and Noel-Williams had a golden chance to double the lead when he was sent clean through with just the keeper to beat but as he took the ball around him, the goalie stuck out a hand and claimed the ball.
Scott Shearer in goal made a good save from Chris Dickson in the 21st minute but two minutes later the U's stopper was beaten at his near post from a powerful Zack Johnson drive. There were decent chances for both Noel-Williams and Malachi Napa before the break, the former just unable to keep his header down and Napa bringing out a fine save from the home keeper.
Both sides were slow to get going in the second half and it was Carruthers who had the first sight of goal, his shot from the edge of the area just curling wide of the far post.
Minutes later Dickson sealed the win as he got on the end of a great cross from Taurean Roberts to place an unstoppable header past Shearer.
United went looking for an equaliser but the closest they came was when Henry's shot was chalked off for a foul by Canice Carroll in the build-up.
With quarter of an hour remaining the whole side made way, with a couple of U23s and many of next season's U18s taking the place of their senior counterparts. With Hampton & Richmond also making a raft of changes the game lost much of its rhythm and there were few further chances.
Despite the scoreline there were a lot of positives to take from the game and it was another good period of game time for many of the senior players, many of whom will also feature in United's next game, at Aldershot on Tuesday.
See you there.
Shearer (Clayton 75), McMahon (Berry-Hargreaves 75), Dickie (Triallist 75), Mousinho (Johnson-Fikula 75), Garbutt (Jones 75), Carruthers (Walters 75), Carroll (Ochieng 75), Doughty (Cowan 75), Napa (Hopkins 75), Henry (James 75), Noel-Williams (Taverner 75)