Oxford United’s under 18s missed out on the chance to go top of their league at Christmas when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Forest Green Rovers this morning.
A Callum Crook goal just before half time raised hopes for the U’s but a stubborn Forest Green defence stood firm and the U’s could not find a second goal, slipping to just their second defeat of the season.
United got off to a slow start and were behind after just seven minutes when Dylan Morgan ran through the middle of the home defence and stabbed the ball past keeper Eddie Brearey. United rallied and Gatlin O’Donkor had a chance from an under-hit back pass but was denied by the keeper before the visitors made it 2-0 on 35 when JJ Ojebamjii forced the ball home from a set piece.
United, battling a very strong wind, got themselves back into the game on the stroke of half time when Crook turned and slammed the ball home to make it 2-1 , at which point the heavens opened and the second half was played in a mixture of hail, wind and driving rain which made it very difficult for both sides.
United pressed and committed men forward, Forest Green countered and forced Brearey into action but United just couldn’t create a clear chance despite laying siege to the visitors goal for the last few minutes.
A defeat then but United remain on the tail of leaders AFC Bournemouth .
Brearey, Grant, Nosokhare, Golding, Johnson,Masters (Watt 23), Coe (Tiamuna 75), Gardner, Smith, O’Donkor, Crook
Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Edmunds