Forest Green Rovers Under 18’s suffered a tough 3-0 defeat to Oxford United in the Youth Alliance League on Saturday.
United’s Connor Ferguson broke the deadlock in the first half before Jack Stevens added two in the final 20 minutes.
Conditions were tough at the Royal Agricultural University, with strong winds blowing across the pitch, but FGR managed to start well and controlled the game in the first 20 minutes, creating a few chances.
An early free kick from the left side was parried away by the Oxford keeper before Destiny Oladipo’s long shot from outside the box was well saved early on.
Battling the conditions, both sides struggled to maintain consistent possession or carve out a clear-cut opportunity until the 37th minute, when Ferguson nipped into the area to turn a cross past Louis Owens to give his side the lead.
Rovers started the second half with some brilliant attacking play, almost levelling the game when Ethan Hill whipped a dangerous cross in from the left, but Dan Jones saw his effort saved.
Another opportunity came in the 54th minute, after Oliver Artwell was brought down in the box to win a penalty.
Artwell stepped up to the spot but fired over the bar before being denied again minutes later as he raced through one-on-one with Oxford’s keeper, the winger coming off second best as his low effort was saved.
With 20 minutes to go the visitors doubled their lead, as Stevens’ shot found its way into the net before play stopped for a lengthy break, United’s Sam Johnson picking up an injury with five minutes later.
Play resumed, and not long after, Rovers conceded their final goal of the afternoon as Stevens beat Owens with a whipped free-kick into the top left corner to put his side out of sight.
FGR travel to Swindon Town on Saturday, November 9, for an 11am kick off.