Oxford United made it four wins in four friendlies so far with a convincing 5-1 win at Oxford City this afternoon. Two goals from Jon Obika, a brace from Armani Little and a strike from Shandon Baptiste capped a good afternoon for Karl Robinson's side at Court Place Farm.
United started brightly with a youthful three man support line behind Obika up front. Baptiste, Little and Owen James all impressed in those positions with both Baptiste and Little going close with early efforts and Obika twice freed in on goal by clever passes, only to be denied by similar low saves.
However after 27 minutes Obika made it four goals in three games this week when Batiste again slipped a clever pass through for him to round the keeper and open the scoring. Every one of those four goals for Obika has come from Baptiste passes- the young midfielder making the most of his opportunity in pre-season.
Obika’s fifth was ‘non the Baptiste’ though, Little this time the provider on 47 minutes with a ball across the face of the box which Obika controlled, rolled past his man and clinically placed into the bottom left corner of the net for an excellent goal.
City, in their fetching new grey away kit, looked good with former United midfielder Josh Ashby impressive alongside Rob Sinclair in midfield and might have pulled a goal back on 56 when the ball held up on the 3G and top scorer Matt Paterson nipped in before Simon Eastwood could get out to it, lobbing the ball over the keeper but just wide of the post.
However the game was decided by two goals in two minutes half way through the second half. First it was Little after 67, applying a calm sidefooted finish across the keeper from the right to make it 3-0. A minute later Baptiste capped another impressive performance with a rolled effort past the keeper from the edge of the box to make it 4-0.
Little then rifled home a rebound to make it 5-0 after a Cameron Brannagan shot was beaten away and although Tshimanga pulled one back from the penalty spot soon after it did little to dampen the spirits after an impressive performance.
The team was replaced by a mixture of under 23s and under 18s for the last 15 minutes, matching their National League South opponents and getting a chance to show the watching Karl Robinson what they were all about before he made the dash up the M40 to watch United's next friendly- a 4pm kick off at Hampton later today.
Another good work out, another win, and another good performance as we continue to build towards Barnsley.
Eastwood (Stevens 67), Norman, Nelson, Raglan, Long, Brannagan, Ruffels, Little, James (Lopez 46) Baptiste, Obika
Subs (after 70 mins)
Berry-Hargreaves, Johnson, McCreadie, Lofthouse, Heap, Hopkins, Taylor, Trialist
Report by Chris Williams, pictures by Steve Daniels