OXFORD United were undone by late goals from Brentford substitutes as the Sky Bet Championship visitors edged an eventful pre-season friendly at the Kassam Stadium.

The hosts, who were without skipper John Lundstram, trailed to first-half goals from Florian Josefzoon and Lasse Vibe.

Brentford looked a slick outfit, but the U’s hit back to lead as Marvin Johnson’s penalty before the break was followed by goals from Kane Hemmings and James Henry.

The game swung back to the west Londoners, though, as Reece Cole’s spectacular free-kick levelled before fellow substitute Sergi Canos grabbed the winner 11 minutes from time.

Lundstram’s absence was the most striking team news, while new signing Xemi was another who missed out as United waited for international clearance.

A trio of triallists were named on the bench, as Josh Smile and Sam Shaban were given a second opportunity after playing in the 3-0 win at Oxford City. They were joined by Raheem Hanley, a left back surplus to requirements at Northampton Town.

The hosts so nearly made a flying start.

Less than 25 seconds were on the clock when Andreas Bjelland was forced to make a last-ditch tackle to deny Kane Hemmings a tap-in after good work from Joe Rothwell and Wes Thomas.

United’s evening then took a turn for the worse.

They lost Simon Eastwood to an injury in the sixth minute after the goalkeeper was caught by Henrik Daalsgard. His replacement, Scott Shearer, held up the game while he got ready – and his first touch was to take the ball out of the net.

The classy Jota, linked with a host of big clubs, crossed to the back post for Josefzoon to head in from eight yards.

Brentford looked far sharper than United’s tour opponents last week, fellow Championship sides Middlesbrough and Hull City.

The hosts struggled to contain the Bees’ movement at times, although it took an excellent one-handed save from Luke Daniels to prevent Rob Hall equalising at the end of an incisive move in the 20th minute.

But Brentford’s bright approach paid off with a second goal, just after the half-hour mark.

Daalsgard, a menace from right back, escaped Hall’s attention to get clear and his low cross was tucked home by Vibe.

United pulled a goal eight minutes before the break.

Another surge from Rothwell began a sweeping move which saw Hemmings’s clever pass find strike partner Thomas, who allowed himself to be brought down by Daniels.

Hemmings had the ball, but after an intervention from the touchline by assistant head coach Chris Allen, Johnson took over penalty duties and slammed low into the left corner.

United rode their luck early in the second half, when Jota’s brilliant lob from a tight angle hit the far post and rebounded to Vibe, whose shot was blocked on the line.

Let off the hook, the home side hit back to lead with two goals in five minutes.

Hall laid on both. First, he ran on to Henry’s pass and waited for the right moment to square for Hemmings to tuck in an easy finish to equalise.

The winger then cut in from the left flank and crossed right-footed for Henry to convert from close range.

Both sides went on to make a flurry of changes and one of the substitutes made an instant impact.

Cole had only been on for a few seconds when he equalised with a thumping 25-yard free-kick, which went in via the crossbar.

And within two minutes Brentford were ahead again. Canos fired in from Josh Clarke’s cross, but Curtis Nelson fumed, claiming the ball had gone for a goal kick.

United pushed late on, but Shaban and Thomas spurned tricky headed chances at the back post.

Oxford Utd: Eastwood (Shearer 8), Ribeiro (Carroll 70), Nelson, Martin (Raglan 78), Johnson (Hanley 65), Henry (Napa 78), Rothwell (Ruffels 75), Ledson, Hall, Thomas, Hemmings (Shaban 63).

Unused subs: Baptiste, Kelleher, Roberts, Smile.

Brentford: Daniels, Daalsgard, Bjelland, Dean, Henry, Sawyers, McEachran, Woods, Jota, Vibe, Josefzoon.

Subs: Colin, Bentley, Egan, Clarke, Barbet, Canos, Field, Shaibu, Cole, Onariase.

Attendance: 2,216 (376 visitors).

Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire).