The Under-18s were edged out in a five-goal thriller with top-of-the-table Oxford United on Tuesday afternoon.
The U’s opened the scoring early on when Shandon Baptiste met a cross from Graham Bryan and directed a header into the bottom right corner, past Andrew McCorkell. 1-0.
Dove’s side, though, responded just after the half-hour mark.
Soon-to-be professionals Connor Furlong and Callum Brittain combined well down the right before the latter drilled in a cross for Sam Nombe. The striker sent the ball back into the mix, first-time, where a grateful Owusu was lurking to stab home. 1-1.
The scores remained level until half-time but four minutes after the re-start, Oxford restored their lead from the penalty spot after a handball in the box by Tommy Hope, who has recently joined from Reading. 2-1.
Photos courtesy of Stewart Wright
Owusu, Hunt (pen) Goals:
Omar, Trialist Unused subs:
McCorkell; Kioso, Steele, Jackson, Hope; Palmeiro (Osei-Bonsu 45), Hunt; Brittain, Furlong (Logan 76) Owusu (Thomas-Asante 63); Nombe. Starting XI:
He continued: “Hopefully we can bounce back on Saturday against Peterborough United.”
“We did play this game a day after the second-years were told whether or not they were to be offered professional deals so that may have had an impact.”
“Take nothing away from Oxford. They are good, committed team who are top of the merit league for a reason.
Speaking afterwards, Director of Youth Dove said: “I’m disappointed with the team’s performance and the result.
. 3-2 Captain Adam Hunt pulled a goal back for the Dons with a penalty of their own in stoppage time, but it was too little too late for Dove’s side who can’t now supplant the Oxfordshire outfit at the top.
. 3-1On the hour mark, McCorkell kept the goal difference to just one with a fine save to deny Seth Humphries but Oxford were able to extend their advantage with a penalty successfully converted by Canice Carroll.