Goals from Fabio Lopes and Leon Chambers-Parillon saw Oxford United's under 18s beat AFC Bournemouth 2-1 at Northcourt Road this morning.
Buoyed from their midweek victory over Swindon, United got off to a bright start as Tyler Goodrham and Lopes worked well together in the opening exchanges. Goodrham fed the forward with a neat flick and an excellent cross was fired in towards Crook who forced a corner.
The U’s were the first to be tested defensively as a Bournemouth forward found the ball land at his feet 12 yards from goal but a terrific block from a combination of Nico Jones and Viktor Milton stopped the first chance before Max Evans denied the striker at the second attempt with a fantastic save, diving to his left.
Despite the early chance United looked confident and took the lead through Lopes on 19 minutes. Almost a carbon copy of his opener midweek, the forward received the ball on the edge of the area and tucked his strike neatly into the bottom corner on the turn to give the U’s a deserved lead.
The tricky Goodrham continued to trouble down the right wing; two dangerous crosses flashed just ahead of Crook in the area as the youngsters continued to press whilst Evans kick almost saw Fabio Lopes clean through on goal if not for an offside decision.
On 35 minutes however, Bournemouth levelled. A forward drifted in from wide right and finished well into the bottom left corner to tie the game heading into half time. The remaining 10 minutes of the first half were tight but United could take confidence in their first half performance going into the second half.
United were bright going forward in the second period and had a strong shout for penalty on 60 minutes as Goodrham was bundled to the ground in the area but the referee waved play on. From then on the game became scrappier as a number of heavy challenges went in, resulting in Trey Grant being shown the game’s first yellow card.
On came Edwards and Barnett-Grant for Crook and Grant – who was on his last warning – in a bid to grab a winner at Nortchourt Road.
United’s changes paid off on 75 minutes as the youngsters scored an excellent team goal. Jones brought the ball out excellently from defence before Chambers-Parillon took the ball past two markers, finding Lopes on the edge of the area. Lopes fed Goodrham who picked out Chambers-Parillon in the area who fired home to restore United’s lead.
United’s game management was tested for the remaining 15 minutes as their opponents threw men forward in a bid to restore parity as Evans was on hand again with another brilliant save 10 minutes from time. Despite the late pressure, United saw the game out superbly to register their second win at home in a week and take the three points against a strong Bournemouth side.
UNITED: Evans, Grant (Barnett-Grant), Johnson, Gardner, Milton, Jones, Goodrham, Lopes, Crook (Edwards), Chambers-Parillon, Elechi
Unused subs:Owens, Niemczycki