Oxford United’s under 18s were beaten 4-1 at Corby Town last night, but as coach Leon Blackmore-Such told us, there were still plenty of positives despite the scoreline
“It will sound funny but the two games we have learned the most from in pre-season have been the ones we have lost” he said.”Both have been against men’s teams, preparing for a long season in properly competitive leagues and it’s only right to say well done, first of all, to Stevie Kinniburgh who has got a very good side there at Corby who I am sure will do really well under his management.
“The thing we emphasised to the boys was that we were going to have to be strong and compete physically. These games are nothing like academy football, they are that bit more direct and as we have seen in the World Cup you also have to be so switched on when defending set pieces, so we were disappointed to concede the first goal from a dead ball, even if we coped pretty well in what turned out to be a bit of a scrappy half time.
“The second half was a bit better and we started quite brightly but individual errors costs us. We were punished for two miskicks and then handed them a fourth goal with an own goal, so there were things we can improve there. We did show a bit of character even at 4-0 down and we had deserved a goal, which came when James Cowan crossed and Jack Stevens headed in to make it 4-1 and at least give us a goal as a reward for the hard work on a very hot evening.
“Obviously the scoreline isn’t great but the boys will learn plenty about what the game is all about at this level and I hope it will prove to be another valuable game for us when the season starts properly.”
Harris(Evans 46), Lofthouse, Niblett (Chambers-Parillon 46), MIlton, Jones, Crooks (Sampford 46), Lopes (Stevens 46), McCreadie, Cowan, James, Spasov