OXFORD United cruised through to the Checkatrade Trophy knockout stage as group winners following a stylish 3-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers.

A much-changed side took their chance to impress and outclassed their hosts, who were eliminated as a result.

Cameron Brannagan gave them a perfect start, heading in the opening goal after just 21 seconds.

United had chances to extend that lead before Marcus Browne’s blockbuster gave them a 2-0 lead at the break.

Sam Smith got the goal he was craving to make the game safe early in the second half.

A three-goal lead had been tossed away in Sky Bet League One at the weekend, but it looked rock solid this time around.

And the cushion allowed the freedom to hand Harvey Bradbury and Aaron Heap debuts in the latter stages to round off an excellent evening.

U’s boss Karl Robinson named a strong line-up despite making seven changes to his starting line-up, while there were five teenagers on the bench.

The visitors knew only a win would guarantee them progress and they got off to a flier in the first minute, when Brannagan headed in Gavin Whyte’s cross to open the scoring.

After conceding three goals in six minutes to draw at Scunthorpe on Saturday, United looked hungry to make amends.

Wycombe looked vulnerable to the visitors’ pace on the break and when Sam Smith sent Browne clear in the 17th minute, he could only find the side netting with only Yves Ma-Kalambay to beat.

The goalkeeper saved from Whyte six minutes later. The winger did superbly to beat two defenders on the halfway line and race clear, but he shot when a square pass would have given Sam Smith a tap-in.

At the other end, United’s defence was rarely troubled, with Charlie Raglan superb on a rare start. Goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell’s only exertion before the break was to smartly parry a 20-yard effort from Scott Kashket.

That kept the scores level – and just after the half-hour mark United doubled the lead.

Brannagan slid a pass through for Browne, who turned Charlie Fox inside out before smashing a 15-yard shot in off the crossbar.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth’s assessment of his side’s first-half performance was shown with a triple substitution before the game restarted.

But the changes could not stop United’s march to the last-32.

They wrapped up the victory eight minutes into the second half, when Brannagan’s shot into a crowded penalty area fell for Smith, who poached a finish from close range.

United had squandered a 3-0 lead at Glanford Park on Saturday, but here they only looked like extending the lead.

Smith, Browne and Brannagan forced saves from Ma-Kalambay in quick succession midway through the half.

The goalkeeper strengthened his case as the Chairboys’ best player on the night with an excellent save to keep out Smith’s header.

Bradbury and Heap were introduced late on to get their first taste of senior football with United, who could reflect on a night which could hardly have gone better.

Wycombe Wand (3-4-3): Ma-Kalambay, Jombati, El-Abd (McCarthy HT), Fox, Bean, Gape (Morris HT), Thompson, Freeman, Onyedinma (Samuel HT), Kashket, Mackail-Smith.

Unused subs: Allsop, Jacobson, Cowan-Hall, Williams.

Booked: Fox, Thompson, McCarthy.

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Mitchell, Norman, Raglan, Dickie, Garbutt, Hanson, Brannagan (Heap 86), Ruffels, Whyte, Smith (Bradbury 83), Browne (Long 75).

Unused subs: Stevens, Heap, Hopkins, Little, Spasov.

Booked: Smith.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).