OXFORD United Under 18s drew 2-2 at AFC Bournemouth in a closely-fought game where all four goals came before the break.

Josh Anifowose and James Golding scored as the U's ended their Merit League campaign with a positive performance against the Cherries.

Bournemouth were a fitting opponent for the season finale, having been United's closest challengers when they won the original EFL Youth Alliance South West Division.

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A U's side featuring one trialist started well in difficult conditions, but the hosts hit them on the break with a lightning-fast move to lead 1-0.

United were similarly clinical for their equaliser, Will Owens clipping a cross towards the penalty spot and Anifowose doing well to direct his effort past the goalkeeper on the bounce.

Golding's bullet header from a corner completed the turnaround, but the U's were pegged back when Bournemouth cut them open through the middle of the pitch to make it 2-2.

Both sides kept it tight after the break, leaving United third in the seven-team Merit League with eight points from their six matches.

They can still be overtaken by AFC Wimbledon and Swindon Town, who are one and three points behind respectively with two games in hand each.

A United Under 19 side will have a different challenge on Saturday, with Oxford University the opponents in a friendly.

Elsewhere, the Under 9s and 12s travelled to face Manchester United at the weekend, while the Under 13s and 14s played matches at Manchester City.