Oxford United's under 18s safely made it through to the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-0 win over Sutton United this evening.
Having beaten Stourbridge in the previous round the young U’s were made to fight hard by a game Sutton side who fought for everything on a cold evening at Court Place Farm but goals from Aaron Lacey and Aidan Elliott-Wheeler saw United safely through.
There were early chances for Leo Snowden, fresh from his senior debut, and Elliott-Wheeler but Sutton caused just as many problems in the first half through their more direct style with centre-backs Lacey and Max Smith having to be strong in the air.
Having weathered a mini-storm half way through the first half United then started to assert themselves and move the ball around more fluently. On 42 minutes they were ahead when the educated left foot of Richard McIntyre delivered an inviting cross which the powerful Lacey attacked and powered home to make it 1-0.
That lead was doubled on the hour when Snowden burst clear in the right channel. He fired across goal and forced keeper Lenny Jones into a save but the unfortunate Sutton keeper only spooned the ball out as far as Elliott-Wheeler who calmly passed the ball into the empty net to make it 2-0.
United, with new Head Coach Des Buckingham watching on, were in control of their own destiny after that and showed a little bit of maturity in keeping hold of the ball and taking the sting out of the game.
Tobias Brenan and Zaide Took-Oxley protected the back line well, Keeper Monty Marriott commanded his box and when he did need to make a save after 72 he got down well to ensure his clean sheet remained intact.
Two games in, no goals conceded so far and safe passage through to the third round where the young U's will travel to the winners of next week's game between Gillingham and Eastleigh.
A positive way to end a very good day.
Marriott, Maxwell, Lacey, Smith, McIntyre, Took-Oxley, Brenan, Elliott-Wheeler, Burton, Cooper (Bradney 76), Snowden
Patel, Mole, Travin, Iheanacho, Bangurah, Holton, Fowler
Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels