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Match Reports

Match Report: Oxford United U23 1 Brentford B 0

Second squad beaten away from home.

28 July 2018

Brentford B suffered their fifth defeat of pre-season at the hands of Oxford United Under-23s at Marsh Lane on Saturday morning.

United’s Albie Hopkins scored the only goal of the game after 72 minutes, which was enough to see Oxford see off The Bees on home soil.

Kevin O’Connor was forced into a change in goal after Patrik Gunnarsson picked up a concussion in last week’s match with West Brom. The B squad was also able to use Justin Shaibu up front, continuing his recovery from an injury problem picked up over the summer.

Oxford meanwhile, used several players with First Team experience, including both centre-backs Sam Long and Canice Carroll.

The first ten minutes was a slow story, with neither side creating anything of note. A flash shot from distance was all that Oxford managed but it dribbled through to The Bees’ goalkeeper.

A free-kick after 12 minutes gave the home side the chance to put a good cross into the box. Armani Little’s deep cross was too much for his forward line though, and it sailed out of play.

For the next few minutes, Oxford threatened to get the ball in behind but both Luka Racic and Jarvis Edobor were fast enough to close down Dejon Noel-Williams and see out the danger.

With 24 minutes gone, Little got another chance to put a set-piece into the box. This time the ball found a man, Sam Long, who nodded it down but it was caught by Brentford’s keeper.

Oxford thought they had their chance when the trials keeper spilled a cross from Malachi Napa into the box. The follow up from Noel-Williams was blocked and gave the stopper a second chance to dive onto the ball.

Jaakko Oksanen, just back from international duty with Finland, played a brilliant ball through the back four after half an hour. It evaded Aaron Heap but goalkeeper Manny Agboola was out of his box quickly to clear.

After 35 minutes, Nikolaj Kirk found the trialist winger with a through ball but his shot was sent wide of the target.

At the break, with the rain hammering down, it was goalless.

The second half started with no changes, except for the blazing sunshine. Both sides tried to improve on their first half displays, which had seen very little in the way of chances.

After quarter of an hour, O’Connor made two changes to the front line in an attempt to change this. Joe Hardy replaced Shaibu, while one trialist came on for the other on the left wing.

With 72 minutes gone, Oxford took the lead. A free-kick conceded just outside of the box to the left of the goal was sent through the wall by substitute Albie Hopkins. It burst through a crowd of players, crept underneath the Brentford keeper and found the net.

A few minutes later, The Bees had found the net themselves but it was ruled out for offside. Hardy was played through the back line and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, only for the assistant to raise his flag on the near side.

Ali Coote had the chance to score another free-kick from just outside the box, but sent it just over the crossbar with ten minutes to go.

With three minutes left, Long rose highest to nod a corner just over the woodwork after being left all alone in the box.

Brentford B: Trialist-GK; Talbro, Racic, Edobor, Kirk; Oksanen (sub Mitchell 81 mins), Coote, Finnsson (sub Trialist-MF 55 mins); Titov (sub Trialist-FW 81 mins), Shaibu (sub Hardy 61 mins), Trialist-FW (sub Trialist-FW 61 mins)

Oxford Utd U23: Agboola; Heap, Long, Carroll, Trialist-DF; Napa (sub James 73 mins), Little, Baptiste, Whyte (sub Crooks 61 mins); Lopes, Noel-Williams (sub Hopkins 61 mins)

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