JOEL Cooper scored his first Oxford United goals in an entertaining victory over Tottenham Hotspur Under 21s.

The winger struck twice in the opening half an hour of the Papa John’s Trophy clash, while Alex Gorrin fired home only his second goal for the club after the break.

Ultimately, the U’s did not win by enough to progress from Southern Group H, thanks to Dane Scarlett’s first-half penalty and Jack Clarke’s last-minute effort.

Luke McNally was booked for conceding the spot-kick and earned a second yellow – and his second red of the competition – for another foul on Scarlett in the second half.

But United at least made it three wins in a row, with head coach Karl Robinson due back from isolation in time for Saturday’s visit of Morecambe.

Simon Eastwood was the only man to keep his place from Saturday, with 12 players who were part of the squad at Burton Albion given the night off.

Jamie Hanson came in at left back for his first appearance of the season, while Marcus McGuane began in midfield after two months out.

He was alongside Gorrin and Josh Johnson, the latter making his home debut having only turned 17 last month.

It was a youthful bench, too, with James Golding – also 17 - part of a matchday squad for the first time and Michael Elechi the oldest substitute at just 20 years old.

The hosts’ line-up was full of players who needed to take their chance and Cooper did exactly that, giving United a lightning start for the second time in four days.

Cooper sat Michael Craig down as he drifted into the penalty area and the ball found its way to Billy Bodin, via Dan Agyei.

The former Bristol Rovers player’s shot was blocked, but his fellow winger reacted quickest to slam home on the rebound.

Spurs were determined to play out from the back and it almost cost them more than once, with Maksim Paskotsi needing Thimothee Lo-Tutala to make a good save after he passed straight to Agyei.

The goalkeeper nearly gifted United their second after 13 minutes, spilling Cooper’s powerful drive and just grabbing the ball before a sliding Bodin could convert.

Spurs began to threaten more and former Leeds United winger Clarke gave Hanson plenty to think about, but their equaliser came from another highly-rated prospect.

At just 17, Scarlett has already played four times for the Premier League club’s first team this season and he got the wrong side of McNally after 24 minutes.

The centre back was booked for bringing his opponent down in the box and the striker got up to beat Eastwood, despite the goalkeeper guessing correctly and diving to his right.

Like on Saturday, though, United took just four minutes to respond.

It was another excellent finish from Cooper, who arrived on the edge of the box to meet the falling ball and lash home a volley after Spurs failed to clear a free-kick.

The visitors remained very much in the game without worrying Eastwood, while Billy Bodin forced Lo-Tutala into a good save down to his right.

The winger had an even better chance two minutes after the restart, as Spurs continued to take risks in defence.

United won possession high up and Bodin received the ball in acres of space on the edge of the box, but Lo-Tutala stuck a hand up to bat away his attempted chip.

Agyei and Gorrin headed wide as the U’s continued to look most likely to score, before McGuane struck the outside of the post from 18 yards.

United finally had a third moments later - and it came from an unlikely source.

Gorrin had only scored once in 98 U’s appearances before tonight, but he advanced to the edge of the box and fired home with his left foot like a seasoned finisher.

Bodin thought he had a fourth moments later when he met Agyei’s low cross six yards out, only for Lo-Tutala to scramble across and claw the ball away.

Eastwood saved with his legs from Clarke, before Scarlett underhit a lob with the keeper off his line – and a manic few minutes continued as United went down to ten men.

McNally needlessly went through the back of Scarlett with the striker 40 yards from goal and received his second booking, forcing Cooper to move to left back.

Centre back Golding came on for his debut as a result, replacing Hanson, while Gatlin O’Donkor was introduced for McGuane.

Spurs should have pulled one back when Markanday struck the post and Scarlett somehow fired over from six yards, before Josh Anifowose made his home debut in place of Bodin.

United were on the brink and their fate was sealed when Clarke fired inside Eastwood’s far post following a corner.

Oxford United (4-3-3): Eastwood, Forde, McNally, Mousinho, Hanson (Golding 78), McGuane (O’Donkor 78), Gorrin, Johnson, Bodin (Anifowose 87), Agyei, Cooper.

Unused subs: Plumley, Elechi, Smith.

Booked: Gorrin.

Sent off: McNally.

Tottenham Hotspur Under 21s (4-3-3): Lo-Tutala, Craig (Lavinier 85), Paskotsi, Fagan-Walcott, Cesay, John (Santiago 77), Lyons-Foster, White, Clarke, Scarlett, Markanday.

Unused subs: Hayton, Omole, Muir, Pedder, Mundle.

Booked: Referee: Christopher Pollard (Suffolk).

Attendance: 1,702 (84 visitors).