ROB Hall hit his first Oxford United hat-trick as they produced a dominant display at Crawley Town in the Trophy.

The winger opened the scoring and converted two penalties, while Anthony Forde also netted a spot kick as the U’s went past 50 goals for the season.

George Francomb was also sent off on a torrid night for Crawley.

The visitors’ progress to the knockout rounds had already been assured, but you would never have known it was a dead rubber from the way Karl Robinson’s men ran the show.

Their hunger to make it 14 games unbeaten was made more impressive by the paltry attendance of 412.

While that was the second-lowest ever gate for an Oxford United game, two new landmarks were set.

Nico Jones became their youngest captain, but at 17 was still 18 months older than Tyler Goodrham, who at 16 years and 98 days took Graham Atkinson’s record as the youngest player since United turned professional in 1949.

Jones led out a side which contained eight changes from Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup win over Hayes & Yeading United.

Among them was Oussama Zamouri, who was lively on his debut even before he was involved in the opening goal, on 12 minutes.

United broke from a Crawley corner and from Shandon Baptiste’s pass Zamouri was too strong for last man David Sesay.

The Moroccan-born forward slipped over in the box, but the ball fell for Hall. His low shot from the edge of the box was straight at Michael Luyambula, but the goalkeeper allowed it to squirm through his grasp and into the net.

The German stopper, on loan from Birmingham City, made a better fist of it a minute later when he got down well to keep out a shot from Dan Agyei.

United were playing with an intensity which belied the sleepy atmosphere in West Sussex and the chances kept coming.

Luyambula made another smart stop to keep out Zamouri after good work from Hall, but the second goal arrived before the half-hour mark.

Agyei’s shot hit Joe McNerney’s hand in the box and Forde confidently despatched the spot kick hard and low to the goalkeeper’s right.

It took 34 minutes for Crawley to muster an effort on goal, but Jack Stevens’ hopes of impressing on his third U’s start were dashed as Panutche Camara’s shot sailed over the stand.

Hall came closest to a third before the break with a run and shot which was saved, while Jones hammered a 30-yard effort inches wide.

Crawley made a triple substitution at the break and within five minutes of the restart they were back in the game.

John Mousinho and Stevens kept out efforts in a goalmouth scramble, but the ball fell for Bloomfield to head in.

But United’s pressing soon restored their two-goal advantage.

Mark Sykes robbed George Francomb, who was the last man and brought down the Northern Irishman in the box.

With no attempt to play the ball the Crawley midfielder was sent off and Hall smashed in the penalty for United’s 50th goal of the season.

His night got even better 17 minutes from time. Agyei was brought down by Luyambula and although the striker wanted it for his first U’s goal, Hall took over the duties to ensure he would be going home with the match ball.

There was still time for Goodrham to break one more record on an excellent evening for the U’s.

Crawley Tn (4-1-4-1): Luambula, Francomb, McNerney (Tunnicliffe HT), Dallison, Sesay (Young HT), Sendles-White, Nadesan (Lubala HT), Camara, Boadu, Nathaniel-George, Bloomfiled.

Unused subs: Jones, Okoye, Palmer, Galach.

Booked: None.

Sent off: Francomb.

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Stevens, Forde (Long HT), Mousinho, Jones, Berkoe, Gorrin (Goodrham 76), Baptiste, Sykes, Hall, Agyei, Zamouri (Lopes 63).

Unused subs: Eastwood, McCreadie, Lofthouse, Sole.

Booked: None.

Referee: Josh Smith (Lincolnshire).

Attendance: 412 (100 visitors).