Oxford United eased several players back in to match action this afternoon but were beaten 3-2 by a Brentford B team at the Bangkok Glass Training Centre.
The biggest positive for the U’s was the return of goalkeeper Jack Stevens who played the first 45 minutes as he steadily regains full fitness after glandular fever.
However it was something of a rude awakening as Brentord were 2-0 up inside the first six minutes as ther high energy and pressing put United on the back foot. First midfielder Ryan Trevitt fired home the opener and then left-back Lewis Gordon capitalised on a rebound after Stevens had initially made a good save.
The U’s regained their composure and were back in the game after 12 minutes when Ryan Williams glanced a header home from a Billy Bodin free kick and they were level again on 33 when Sam Winnall slid home a cross from Michael Elechi after a magnificent crossfield pass from midfielder Ben Davis, another player returning after injury.
However Brentford were back in front five minutes before the break when former Rangers forward Nathan Young-Coombs made it 3-2 after dribbling through the United defence.
The second half tightened up but there were still chances for the U’s with Dan Agyei doing well on the left and defender James Golding having a goalbound effort bravely blocked on the line by a Brentford defender's face.
Bodin saw three further efforts saved as United pressed but the result wasn't too important in a game in which United got minutes on the pitch for a number of players ahead of the busy Christmas period as well as a glimpse of several of their highly promising youngsters
Stevens (Plumley 46), Watt (Sade 85), Mousinho (Nosakhare 70), Golding, Elechi (Owens 85), Johnson (Smith 85), Davis (Anifowose 85), Williams, Bodin (Smith 85), Winnall (O’Donkor 70), Agyei