OXFORD United will head into 2019 still battling on three fronts after sweeping Tottenham Hotspur’s under 21s aside in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Charlie Raglan and Sam Smith exposed the visitors’ deficiencies in the air to put the hosts in charge of the second round tie after only 16 minutes.

Tony McMahon had set up the opener on his return from injury and the full back added United’s third at the start of the second half.

The hosts’ strong line-up had chances to win even more comfortably in the end, but they had done more than enough to reach the last-16.

It means a trip to Cheltenham Town in the new year, just after the Emirates FA Cup tie at Brentford.

Armani Little was handed his senior debut among the five changes made to the U’s starting line-up, who were on the front foot early on.

The visitors, depleted by commitments in the FA Youth Cup and the first team this week, invited pressure as they sought to play out from the back at every opportunity.

United were licking their lips and had forced a couple of close shaves before taking the lead in the 12th minute.

Jamie Hanson’s pressing won the ball and he was then fouled just outside the penalty area. McMahon swung in the resulting set piece for Raglan, who headed in just the second goal of his career.

Within four minutes Spurs’s youngsters were caught out from another set piece, this time a Luke Garbutt corner which was glanced in by Smith’s head.

James Henry fired just wide and Cameron Brannagan saw a well-struck effort well saved by goalkeeper Brandon Austin as United looked in the mood to kill the tie off quickly.

But they grew a little sloppy on the ball as the half wore on, allowing Spurs back into the game.

The visitors should have halved the deficit on the half-hour mark when Kazaiah Sterling went clear, only to be denied by Simon Eastwood’s legs.

McMahon came as close as anyone to adding a third goal before the break, seeing his shot well saved by Austin.

The full back only had to wait until the 48th minute for his first U’s goal to arrive, though.

His initial corner was not dealt with and when Gavin Whyte returned the ball into the box it fell for McMahon to smash a shot in from ten yards.

It effectively killed the game off, although Jack Roles hit the inside of Eastwood’s far post four minutes later.

Marcus Browne and Ricky Holmes stretched their legs off the bench for the final half-hour.

Both came close with efforts and there was no sense United were easing off the gas with an eye on Saturday’s Sky Bet League One trip to Doncaster until the final few minutes.

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Eastwood, McMahon, Nelson, Raglan, Garbutt, Hanson, Henry (Browne 59), Brannagan (Heap 78), Whyte (Holmes 59), Smith, Little.

Unused subs: Stevens, Long, Mousinho, Mackie.

Booked: Smith.

Tottenham U21 (4-2-3-1): Austin, Hinds (Reynolds 85), Tanganga, Marsh, Brown, Bowden (Tracey 72), Duncan, Oakey-Boothe, Role, Clarke (Thorpe 89), Sterling.

Unused subs: De-Bie, Cooper, Okedina.

Booked: None.

Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset).

Attendance: 1,422 (131 visitors).