Oxford United’s second game on their pre-season tour of Ireland ended in a very convincing 5-1 win at Longford Town tonight.
Two goals from Jon Obika plus strikes from Tony McMahon and Malachi Napa and a late penalty from Shaun Derry capped a very good evening for Karl Robinson’s side.
With game time key, there were changes to the side that beat Portmarnock the night before and a rotation of players on 60 minutes; coach Derry standing in when Cameron Brannagan went down with a virus earlier in the day to allow United’s players to get the required game time according to a carefully structured schedule, especially with Rob Dickie and Samir Carruthers taken off as precautions after picking up knocks in a very well-contested game.
The U’s created a host of chances even before the impressive Tony McMahon put them ahead on 15 minutes with a free kick that flew low and true into the left side of the net.
Nine minutes later and Obika doubled the advantage when the excellent Shandon Baptiste rolled him clear on goal: one of three assists from Baptiste who has had a very good tour so far.
Longford squandered a couple of chances from loose passes by Oxford players but got a goal back on 33 minutes through Dean Dillon but on 55 minutes United had daylight again when Napa sneaked in at the back post to tap home another ball from Baptiste before the midfielder again set up Obika to make it 4-1.
The icing on the cake came when Derry stepped up to drill home a penalty, at the crowd’s request, after James Henry had been fouled inside the box, but in reality there were plenty of younger legs who had done the hard running and again put in impressive performances in front of the travelling Yellow Army.
We move on to UCD on Wednesday night as the tour comes to its conclusion. Hopefully it ends on a high but everything seems to be moving in the right direction anyway.
Eastwood (Stevens 60), McMahon (Mousinho 60), Dickie (Norman 25), Raglan, Long (Garbutt 60), Ruffels (Nelson 60), Carroll (Derry 60), Carruthers (Garbutt 46), Napa (Henry 60), Obika (James 60), Baptiste