Oxford United's new under 23s side continued their undefeated start to pre-season with a comfortable 4-1 win away at Burnham FC last night.
Chris Allen's young charges travelled down the M40 with a side that included senior players Charlie Raglan, Armani Little, Sam Long and Canice Carroll.
Burnham started the brighter of the two sides and took the lead on 14 minutes when a low cross from the left was bundled home at the back post in front of the young Oxford United trialist left back for the first goal of the game.
A poor tackle from the Burnham wide man shortly after the goal saw tempers briefly flare but this seemed to galvanise the young Yellows who equalised two minutes later through young winger Revarnelle James who stroked home a rebound from 8 yards into the bottom corner.
Oxford continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession with the impressive Little, playing in an advanced midfield role in front of Carroll and Aaron Heap, seeing plenty of the ball. Oxford soon doubled their lead when Little, a recent signing from Southampton, calmly rolled another rebound past the stranded Burnham keeper. Oxford should have been at least four up at the break but a combination of some inspired goalkeeping and wasteful finishing saw United go into half time only 2-1 in front.
Oxford started the 2nd half with renewed urgency; local Academy graduate Heap catching the eye with another impressive early season performance full of tenacity and aggression. Long, playing at right back, increased the Oxford lead on 67 minutes with a neat back post header from an Armani Little corner and this was to be the last action of the night for both Long and Raglan who were replaced on 70 minutes by youth team captain Aaron McCreadie and young Scottish midfielder James Cowan.
16-year-old Centre Forward Slavi Spasov came off the bench to replace Dejon Noel-Williams on 80 minutes, the first year scholar having earned his place in the squad after a goal-scoring performance for the U18s against Coventry earlier in the week. Spasov was involved in United's fourth goal on 86 minutes, occupying both centre-halves and allowing Albie Hopkins to head home from close range from a nicely flighted Revarnelle James cross.
A useful 4-1 victory that sets Chris Allen's side up for a competitive looking fixture on Saturday against Brentford. This game takes place at Oxford City's Marsh Lane stadium kicking off at 10.30am and with the first team not in action that day is a good chance for supporters to see the new U23s side in action for the 1st time.
Agboola (Stevens 46), Long (McCreadie 70), Berry-Hargreaves, Raglan (Cowan 70), Trialist (Johnson 31), Heap, Carroll, R. James, Little, Hopkins, Noel-Williams (Spasov 80).