OXFORD United’s low turnout for last night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash did nothing to take the edge off Tyler Roberts’s delight at scoring his first professional goal.

The 17-year-old loanee from West Bromwich Albion picked out the top corner from just outside the penalty area in the 12th minute.

United went on to win the Southern Group C opener 4-2 against Exeter City, whose injury problems were so great manager Paul Tisdale, 43, named himself on the bench.

While the gate would have been low in the former Johnstone’s Paint Trophy format, many stayed away in protest at the revamped competition, which includes academy sides from Premier League and Championship clubs.

The 1,575 attendance was the third lowest for a competitive U’s game at the Kassam Stadium.

The small crowd did included Roberts’s mother, though, and the empty stands did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the winger, who today goes away on duty with Wales Under 19s.

“Definitely not, it’s my first professional goal so I just enjoyed the moment,” he said.

“It just came to me on the edge of the box and it opened up, so I thought ‘why not?’ “It’s up there with my best moment in football because it’s an honour to score my first professional goal.”

Chris Maguire doubled the lead before City hit back to level with goals either side of half-time.

But United proved too strong, as Ryan Taylor and Alex MacDonald scored to wrap up victory.

Taylor, who had not scored since November, said: “There were some very good attacking moments for us.

“I just kept plugging away and I got the goal in the end. It was a decent performance from ourselves.”

While the U’s let City back into the game, head coach Michael Appleton was pleased with the night’s work overall.

He said: “The only time we did silly things were when we didn’t do the basics well and tried to overcomplicate it.

“There were a lot of positives to come out of the game.”

Centre back Aaron Martin missed the game for personal reasons, but it is hoped he will be available for Saturday’s home game with Rochdale in Sky Bet League One.