Oxford United's Under-18s continued their good form with a 2-1 win over Bournemouth this afternoon in their Merit League 1 clash at Northcourt Road, thanks to two early goals from Kyran Lofthouse.
In relentless rain and a swirling wind, conditions weren't the best for a free-flowing game, and so it proved as neither side was able to get any passing moves going.
However, it was Oxford that acclimatised better to the weather and Lofthouse put them 2-0 up with less than quarter of an hour on the clock. Both goals were similar, with left-wing crosses from Ryan Crooks converted by Lofthouse with first-time finishes. United were a goal up on 11 minutes and doubled their advantage just two minutes later.
Oxford were unable to capitalise further and in the 32nd minute the visitors were back in the game with a well-taken strike from the edge of the area.
The second period was equally dominated by the conditions but both sides continued to compete and there were some strong challenges going in. Oxford had a good chance to extend their lead in the 67th minute when substitute Conor Ferguson was played through and rounded the keeper but the Bournemouth defence recovered and forced him wide.
Bournemouth carved out a similar opening on 75 but the shot was straight at Max Evans, but this was a rare threat on the Oxford goal. Fabio Lopes then sent Lofthouse through with a sublime through ball from deep in his own half but with just the keeper to beat the United winger spurned the chance of his hat-trick.
After that it was a matter of seeing the game out for United, who continue their climb up the table with a well-won three points.
United:Evans, Sampford, Trialist (Masters 61), Goodrham, Chambers-Parillon, Trialist (Crook 85), Lofthouse, Lopes, Edwards (Ferguson 53), Stevens, Crooks
Subs: Crook, Masters, Harris