Wantage Town suffered a baptism of fire as they marked their Southern League debut with a 3-0 home defeat by Taunton Town on Saturday.
Gary Ackling’s side, with six players making their league debuts, were outplayed by the visitors in this Division 1 South & West encounter.
Home skipper Tom Melle-dew, who later missed a penalty, fired a shot inside a minute which was saved by Taunton keeper Joe Perry.
But it was Taunton who held sway.
Wantage keeper Lee Farrow made one fine stop before the Somerset side took the lead.
Ryan Millward brought down the tricky Joe Bushin on the edge of the box.
From the resultant free-kick, Nat Pepperell’s scuffed effort went under the jumping Wantage wall and into the corner of the goal.
Jimmy Deabill then headed wide for Wantage.
Just before half-time ,Taunton had a goal disallowed for offside and then hit the woodwork.
The Peacocks eventually doubled their lead early in the second half.
Jamie Price was tripped by Jon Steedman in the penalty area and Pepperell converted the spot-kick.
On the hour, Ackling brought on Richie Guy and Swindon Town loanee Curtis Da Costa, with Matt Jones pushing further forward.
The hosts had their best spell of the game and won a penalty when Deabill was brought down.
But Melledew’s spot-kick was easily saved by Perry as the hosts wasted a chance to get back in the game. Taunton sealed the result five minutes from time when the impressive Bushin held off Millward and finished emphatically.
Wantage Tn Farrow, Kidd, M Jones, Steedman, Millward, Cattell (Da Costa 60), Sadler (Roberts 83), Melledew, Deabill, Lachacz, Johns (Guy 60). Subs not used: Tucker, Riccio.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
2:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
While Gary Waddock’s time in charge at Oxford United was brief, it produced one clear benefit which has helped the side this season.
1:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
NO further contract talks are expected at Oxford United until the club’s Football League status is secured.
12:04pm Friday 27th February 2015
Oxfordshire trainers Charlie Longsdon and Lawney Hill are among the panel at a Cheltenham Festival preview evening at Middleton Cheney Sports & Social Club next Thursday (7pm).
12:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
Oxford United travel to Portsmouth today - catch up on all our preview stories and video of the first league meeting between the sides
11:00am Friday 27th February 2015
GARY Waddock says he feels no bitterness towards Oxford United as he prepares to face the club for the first time since being sacked last summer.
10:52am Friday 27th February 2015
Lonodon Welsh's New Zealand World Cup winning scrum half Piri Weepu has quit London Welsh to join Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps until the end of the season.
9:20am Friday 27th February 2015
MICHAEL Appleton says there is no better place for Oxford United to win this season than Fratton Park – and it has nothing to do with his links to Portsmouth.
9:00am Friday 27th February 2015
Director of rugby Matt Williams is regretting an oversight that has cost Chinnor a place in the Oxfordshire Cup final.
9:00am Friday 27th February 2015
THERE have been plenty of changes at Oxford United since they visited Fratton Park last season, but few players have undergone a more dramatic change of status in the 18-month gap than Callum O’Dowda.
8:10am Friday 27th February 2015
DANNY Hylton says he has found a system this season which is helping him take penalties with confidence.