OXFORD United overcame a sluggish start to open their Checkatrade Trophy campaign in style as Stevenage were given six of the best.

The home side went ahead through Harry Beautyman in a distinctly underwhelming opening half-hour from the U’s.

But from the moment James Henry equalised, they looked a cut above their opponents as 42-year-old goalkeeper Chris Day was beaten by a collection of classy finishes.

Hall scored either side of half-time, sandwiching a thumping effort from Jon Obika.

Joe Rothwell and Jack Payne got off the mark for the season to make the game safe, before Alex Samuel’s late consolation.

Dwight Tiendalli was among six changes to the starting XI from Saturday, making his first appearance for more than two years.

He was part of an unfamiliar back four which saw Christian Ribeiro, skipper for the night, partnering Aaron Martin, while Canice Carroll was at left back.

The makeshift side stuttered early on and after a scrappy first 15 minutes, Stevenage seized the initiative.

A disorganised United defence were twice caught out in a matter of seconds from quickly-taken corners.

They got away with the first one, when Tom Pett’s shot was deflected over. But from the resulting set piece the visitors were sloppy again and Simon Eastwood’s weak punch fell for Beautyman to ram into the net from ten yards.

United had already lost to League Two opposition in the Carabao Cup, but slowly they worked to avoid a repeat of their Cheltenham Town defeat.

The tempo of their passing went up a gear and on the half-hour mark United equalised with their first attempt on goal.

Rothwell won the ball in the Stevenage half and gave it to Henry, who advanced and fired a low shot from 25 yards which beat Day.

Pep Clotet’s side were beginning to justify their status as the higher-ranked side and two minutes before the break they went ahead.

Hall tackled on the halfway line, swapped passes with Payne and raced into the box, where he curled a shot into the far corner of the net.

United picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, bagging three goals in six minutes.

Obika stretched the lead with a powerful curling finish from 20 yards, before Henry provided the assist for a pair of terrific finishes.

Hall’s second was the pick of the goals, not breaking his stride to lift a brilliant shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Rothwell then showed quick feet and a cool head to burst into the box, beat one defender and tucking a shot into the net past Day at his near post.

It took United a full nine minutes to add to their lead, when Rothwell’s sharp turn and pass found Payne to drive a low right-footed shot in from 18 yards.

Shandon Baptiste was handed his senior debut for the final 20 minutes, while James Roberts also came off the bench, making his first U’s appearance in a year.

Samuel’s thunderbolt after Martin’s stumble saw Stevenage have the final word, but the game had long been over.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Day, Vancooten, King (Wilkinson HT), Toner, Martin, Beautyman, Smith (Ferry HT), Pett, Conlon, Samuel, Godden (Gray 65).

Unused subs: Fryer, Franks, Newton, Wilmott.

Booked: Conlon.

Oxford Utd (4-4-1-1): Eastwood, Tiendalli, Ribeiro, Martin, Carroll, Henry, Xemi (Ruffels 85), Rothwell, Hall, Payne (Baptiste 71), Obika (Roberts 79).

Unused subs: Shearer, Williamson, Ledson.

Booked: Xemi.

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Attendance: 799 (152 visitors).