Oxford City 5 (Skendi 25 & 34, Benjamin 32, Winters 39, Green 76) Oxford United 1 (Hall pen 3)

OXFORD United's unbeaten run in pre-season spectacularly came to an end as they crashed to a heavy defeat against Oxford City.

The damage was done during a 14-minute spell in the first half at Marsh Lane, when the home side scored four times.

Taking advantage of some poor defending Albi Skendi helped himself to two goals, while ex-United youngsters Declan Benjamin and Tom Winters also got on the scoresheet.

It stunned the visitors, who had taken the lead through an early Asa Hall penalty.

They were scarcely any better after the break and Will Green rubbed salt in the wounds with a fifth late on.

It completed a bad night for the U's, when most of the fringe players on show did little to push for a place in the squad at Portsmouth on the opening day of the season.

There was no hint of the troubles ahead when within two minutes Callum O'Dowda's quick feet lured James Clifton into an ill-advised lunge in the penalty area.

Hall assumed responsibility and confidently sent goalkeeper Mark Scott the wrong way from 12 yards.

It began a promising opening 20 minutes for the visitors, with James Constable firing a bicycle kick straight at Scott.

United were forced into a defensive reshuffle when Dave Lynn went off injured midway through the half and was replaced by Josh Ruffels, a midfielder.

Skendi levelled on 25 minutes, out-muscling Kenzer Lee and smashing a shot past Max Crocombe.

The striker laid on the second for Benjamin to finish neatly and quickly made it 3-1 with his second of the night from a tap-in after the ball was knocked out of Max Crocombe's grasp.

City's purple patch was completed by Winters, who smashed a low volley into the net from 20 yards after United failed to clear their lines.

The interval gave United time to regroup, but they did not threaten a comeback when play restarted.

The closest the visitors came to a second goal was from Mark Flanagan, who needed a smart save from Scott to prevent an own goal seconds after coming on as a substitute.

City made a host of changes as the half wore on and two of the replacements combined to stretch their advantage 14 minutes from time.

Callum McNish split the brittle defence for Green to slot a finish past an exposed Crocombe.

City: Scott (Francoz 67), Clifton, Stonehouse (Flanagan 70) Ballard (Malone 52), Learoyd (Gunn 67), Wilmott, Benjamin (McNish 58), Pond (Sanders 58), Basham (Cook ht), Skendi (Green 61), Winters (McEachran 70).

Subs not used: Maabdi.

United: Crocombe, Bevans, Raynes, Lee, Lynn (Ruffels 21), Davies, Hall, Meades, O'Dowda (Shama 86), Marsh, Constable.

Subs not used: Cavanagh, Ekpiteta, Martin, Humphreys, Roberts, Ashby.

Referee: John Farries.

Attendance: 1,005.

Comments (2)

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7:51am Wed 24 Jul 13

onthebench says...

Positives for Utd: Callum O'Dowda and ...........er, that's it. Positives for City: Played excellent football as it should be (neat passing on the ground - well done to Mike Ford) & most impressively Albi Skendi. Where on earth have City got him from? He was far too good for Utd I'm afraid and nobody seemed capable of controlling or tackling him. I predict very good things for him!
Positives for Utd: Callum O'Dowda and ...........er, that's it. Positives for City: Played excellent football as it should be (neat passing on the ground - well done to Mike Ford) & most impressively Albi Skendi. Where on earth have City got him from? He was far too good for Utd I'm afraid and nobody seemed capable of controlling or tackling him. I predict very good things for him! onthebench
  • Score: 2

5:01pm Wed 24 Jul 13

BenkiuGuasu says...

Sign him up then....for the yellows....
Sign him up then....for the yellows.... BenkiuGuasu
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

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