Oxford Utd 2

Manchester Utd XI 2

Goals early in each half from Yemi Odubade and Jamie Guy gave Oxford United a two-goal lead in their first-home pre-season game on Saturday, but Manchester United's youngsters fought back for a draw.

It was an entertaining affair on a swelteringly-hot afternoon at the Kassam Stadium for a crowd of more than 6,000.

Several of Oxfords new signings caught the eye.

Lewis Haldane, who started the match very well, was lively and skilful on the ball, and central midfielder Joe Burnell frequently halted the Red Devils attacks with interceptions.

Guy, who has already become something of a fans' favourite after his dynamic display at Banbury, further enhanced his reputation with a well-taken second goal.

At the other end, triallist Ben Hinchliffe did his prospects of staying on no harm with a highly competent showing between the sticks.

The Old Trafford youngsters all had a very good touch and kept the ball well, their midfield very fluid and, of course, being effectively Manchester United's youth team, they had bags of energy.

But the Oxford players had that extra bit of know-how and generally looked the more likely to score, in a game that saw plenty of good passing, but not a great amount of chances until the second half.

In the opening minute, Odubade got behind the visitors' defence and his cut-back from the right was side-footed over the bar by Burnell as he ran in from deep.

Hinchliffe was positive with an instant clearance as the tall Italian forward Frederico Macheda closed down.

The game was only 16 minutes old when Odubade put the U's ahead Keeper Conor Devlin didn't get much distance on his attempted punch from Chris Carruthers's corner, Odubade chested the ball down and then hooked it into the net with a well-placed shot from eight yards.

At the other end, James Clarke, preferred to Matt Day at right back, showed good defensive ability by getting his foot in for a crucially well-timed tackle on Joshua King inside the box after the Manchester United youngster had initially got the better of him.

Haldane embarked on a strong run early in the second half, only to be unceremoniously tripped, as he was two or three times before the break.

This time, Carruthers bent his free-kick around the wall, but Devlin saved.

Seven minutes after the restart, Guy made it 2-0.

Picked out by Odubade's pass, he raced forward, cut inside the fullback and although his first shot was blocked by Richard Eckersley, using his chest, on the goalline, Guy followed up by knocking in the rebound with the outside of his right foot.

Manchester United pulled a goal back three minutes later when Daniel Drinkwater headed in Magnus Eikrem's right-wing cross.

As the game opened up, Odubade sent a shot a lot wider than he would have wished, it ending up in the North Stand, while Burnell was unlucky with a 22-yard effort that Devlin just pushed around a post.

Hinchliffe made a fine stop from Drinkwater, and late on fingertipped an effort around his right-hand post.

But by then, Manchester United had grabbed an equaliser.

Again there may be questions asked about Oxford's centre of defence as a right-wing cross was missed by defenders, but not by Sam Hewson, who headed down and in off an upright.

Evidence of the heat came when all the players, and Wiltshire referee Simon Hooper stopped for a drinks break with 20 minutes to go, but it was entirely understand- able.

Young sub Sam Deering did some good things when he came on, and went close with a shot.

With ten minutes remaining, half a dozen immature supporters from the visitors' section ran onto the pitch in one of the most pathetic attempted pitch invasions I can remember.

When they returned to the North Stand, they were hotly pursued by stewards.

f=Helvetica s=6Oxford Utd: Hinchliffe, Clarke, Quinn, Foster, Carruthers, Odubade (Reid 78), Burnell, Murray, Haldane (Lekonda 78), Constable, Guy (Deering 70).

Manchester Utd: Devlin, Gray, Eckersley, Chester, Derbyshire (Gill 82), Drinkwater, Evans (James HT), Hewson, Eikrem (Dudgeon 83), King (Brandao HT), Macheda (Norwood 58).

Referee: Hooper (Wiltshire).

Attendance: 6,027 (1,266 in Man Utd section).