OXFORD UTD STARS . . . . . . .4
LARNE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Played in horrific weather conditions at the Bishop’s Field recently, both Oxford United Stars and Larne Under-14’s, to their credit, tried to get the ball down and play some decent football.
Larne burst out of the blocks quickly and the Co. Antrim side tested Oxford keeper, Anthony O’Hagan, with a few well struck long range efforts during the early strages.
Indeed, the home side struggled to get going during the early stages, rarely causing any threat to the Larne defence, while at the other end Oxford’s back four of Jordan Hale, Caoimhin McCallion, Owen Gibbons and Jon Doherty were being kept on their toes by a lively Larne striking duo.
Oxford withstood the early pressure from Larne and gradually worked their way into the game.
Their first real scoring opportunity arrived when Adam Dougherty went close after some good build-up play.
The breakthrough for the home side eventually arrived in the 20th minute when some excellent work down the right wing from Oran McShane resulted in the ball being delivered into the box to find Matty Doherty who fired home from close range.
And that goal fashioned confidence as Oxford netted another two within minutes, as the home side finally settled.
The Larne keeper seem to misjudge the bounce of a long range free-kick from Jake Francis, with the ball sensationally finding the back of the net.
Francis then made it 3-0 when Adam Dougherty had a fierce drive well saved, only for Francis to follow up and confidently finish the rebound.
Larne came out for the second half determined to put up a good fight and the game turned into a more physical battle, particularly in the centre of the park.
That physical battle saw no real clear-cut chances created by either team during the first 20 minutes of the half.
However, in the 23rd minute Larne reduced the deficit when a long clearance wasn’t dealt with by the normally dependably Oxford defence and the Larne striker ran in to finish with confidence.
Oxford’s Seamus Quinn then put the game out of Larne’s reach when slotting home with a clever finish.
Oxford United Stars face a busy schedule this week with two National League games, the first of which will see them facing Balinamallard in Omagh tomorrow night (Wednesday), closely followed by a home tie against Glenavon this Saturday.
Oxford United Stars Under-14’s - Anthony O’Hagan, Ethan Canning, Caoimhin McCallion, Owen Gibbons, Darren Harkin, Jordan Hale, Matty Doherty, Caolin O’Donnell, Odhran McKane, Jake Francis, Adam Dougherty, Oran McShane, Seamus Quinn, Jacob Henderson, Oran McConnell, Davy O’Brien, Jon Doherty.