A QUICKFIRE double from Joe Rothwell and Kane Hemmings put Oxford United on their way to starting pre-season with a 3-0 win at Oxford City.

With new United boss Pep Clotet watching on for the first time, the goals on the new 3G pitch at City came early and were separated by less than a minute.

The visitors, who fielded two triallists alongside summer signings Scott Shearer, Charlie Raglan and Fiacre Kelleher, had plenty of chances to extend their advantage, but did not add a third goal until Wes Thomas struck in the 85th minute.

While City battled well, their biggest boost was the attendance at the revamped Court Place Farm – 2,276 was almost 500 above the ground’s previous record.

In roasting sunshine, City forged the first chance when a cross from the left found Justin Bennett unmarked, but the striker was offside as his effort struck the woodwork.

Clotet opted to watch his first game in charge from the stands and will have been pleased with the way his side responded.

Hemmings fired a warning shot just wide from 20 yards, before the visitors struck twice in 60 seconds.

Rothwell opened the scoring with a stylish finish, curled high into the far corner from just outside the penalty area after Rob Hall’s run had been held up.

Almost from kick-off, City conceded again.

Triallist Sam Shaban was found in the penalty area and he unselfishly squared to give Hemmings a simple tap-in from eight yards.

United looked a side in a hurry and goalkeeper Craig Hill needed to make a smart block to prevent Hall making it 3-0 in the 15th minute after good work from Hemmings.

The hosts stemmed the flow of chances, but were still on the back foot.

Sweltering conditions prompted a drinks break on the half-hour mark and when play resumed United’s intensity levels dropped slightly.

Hill again denied Hall at the end of a neat move, before City finished the half well.

Matt Paterson got the better of Curtis Nelson, but with Shearer advancing, the striker could only prod the ball across goal, where Dan Carr cleared.

Shearer was called into action again in stoppage-time, saving a free-kick from Freddie Grant.

United made 11 changes at the break, switching to a 3-5-2 for the second half.

Within a minute of the restart their second triallist, Josh Smile, forced a save from Hill after Johnson had been released by a terrific pass from Christian Ribeiro.

Johnson was the next to test the City goalkeeper, with a low shot from 25 yards, before the winger set up Ryan Ledson to poke a shot just wide.

The game began to fizzle out as the half wore on and City rang the changes.

United’s biggest concern came 20 minutes from time, when Canice Carroll fell awkwardly when defending a corner.

For a moment it looked nasty, but the teenager was quickly back on his feet after treatment.

United pushed for a third goal in the closing stages.

Lundstram launched a pass which Johnson collected in his stride, before firing what looked like a mis-hit cross which hit the far post.

Thomas was unable to convert the rebound, but two minutes later he slid in to convert Johnson’s low cross and make it 3-0.

It sealed a good workout for both sides. United head on their pre-season training camp in Portugal tomorrow, while City host Cheltenham Town on Tuesday.

Oxford City: Hill, Ngathe, Oastler, Demuria, Grant, McEachran, Fleet, Poku, Pearce, Paterson, Bennett.

Subs used: Jones, Forde, Hirst, Pinn, McKnight, Fofana, Atkins.

Oxford Utd 1st half: Shearer, Carr, Kelleher, Nelson, Bryan, Hall, Rothwell, Ruffels, Napa,Triallist (Shaban), Hemmings.

Oxford Utd 2nd half: Eastwood, Berry-Hargreaves, Raglan, Carroll, Ribeiro, Lundstram, Ledson, Triallist (Smile), Johnson, Roberts, Thomas.

Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis.

Attendance: 2,276.