Oxford United's winning start to pre-season continued with a 2-1 win at Hungerford Town this evening
Goals from Oisin Smyth and Ben Davis, either side of a Joel Rollinson goal for the home side, made it four wins from four games as United build towards their League 1 campaign.
The U’s took the chance to look at former Coventry forward Jodi Jones who was very impressive in a youthful starting eleven that featured Yoav Sade, James Golding, Will Owens, Josh Johnson, Tyler Goodrham, and Slavi Spasov as well as the scorers.
It was Smyth who opened the scoring on 28 minutes when he rose to meet an inviting inswinging corner from Jones after the best move of the first half had seen United work the ball the length of the pitch. Hungerford of the National League South, were excellent opponents, determined in the challenge but also lively in attack and United struggled to break them down before the break despite seeing plenty of the ball.
The U's kept the same eleven on at half time while the home side made multiple changes and within sixty seconds those changes paid off when sub Rollinson dinked the ball delicately over the stranded Simon Eastwood for a peach of a goal that wasn't even the best of the night...
United almost restored their lead when Spasov was denied by an excellent save from close range but on the hour Davis ended the Goal of the Night competition when a corner was only cleared as far as the Thai international midfielder who floated the ball superbly over home keeper Mark Scott to restore United's lead at 2-1.
Wholesale changes with 20 minutes to go (the opposite changes are likely to happen at Eastleigh tomorrow night) saw a more experienced team begin to create more chances- Matty Taylor and Cameron Brannagan going close and Billy Bodin firing over the top as Hungerford tired.
In the end the result is immaterial but wins build confidence and each game so far has been exactly what was needed - hard work, competitive football and players edging closer to fitness.
Eastwood, Sade (Forde 71), Mousinho (Moore 71), Golding (Brown 71), Owens (Seddon 71), Smyth (Brannagan 71), Johnson (Bodin 71), Goodrham (Henry 71), Jones (O'Donkor 60), Spasov (Taylor 71), Davis (McGuane 71)
Report by Chris Willams, pictures Steve Edmunds