Hayes & Yeading continued the pre-season programme with a heavy nine goal defeat at Thame United's ASM Stadium against a very strong Oxford United side on a baking Tuesday evening.
The game was a real eye opener for the difference between Southern Premier and League One football with the four division gap far too much for Paul Hughes' side on this occasion but credit to the side as despite the scoreline they continued to try and play their football and did create a few chances of their own.
The U's showed they meant business from the off and James Henry had the ball in the United net in just the second minute only for assistant referee Lisa Benn to rule the effort out for offside.
With the hosts controlling the play, it was the 12th minute when the deadlock was broken as Henry's effort was partially blocked only for the ball to drop nicely to Matty Taylor gifting him a tap in from close range.
A push forwards by United in the 16th minute saw Moses Emmanuel and Francis Amartey combine in an advanced position on the left however the low struck cross by Amartey was well held by Simon Eastwood in the U's goal. Almost immediately the home side launched another attack of their own which brought goal number two as Michael Elechi collected the ball deep and raced through tackles to the United area before firing low past Lewis Lavin.
Just beyond the midway point in the first half Jake Sheppard collected a cross-field pass from Christian Smith on the right, beat his marker and set the ball for Hassan Jalloh but his shot that was well blocked by the U's defence.
Taylor was to be gifted a second on 29 minutes when a poor defensive pass left the striker with just Lavin to beat, the experienced Taylor rounding the young United 'keeper before rolling the ball into the vacant net to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Five minutes later it was four, Tyler Goodrham sent Joel Cooper through on goal, Lavin did well to keep out his shot with the ball again falling to Taylor who tapped home for a first half hat-trick.
Despite dominating the rest of the half the scoreline stayed the same with United no doubt, as it is cricket season, hoping the hosts would "declare" at half time, sadly it was not to be the case.
The first opening after the break saw United test substitute U's 'keeper Jack Stevens in the 51st minute when a neat Amartey flick on sent Emmanuel away on goal, his low driven shot being held by Stevens low to his right. Just one minute later though Oxford had a fifth and Taylor a fourth as the striker collected the ball in the United area and fired low past Lavin into the far corner.
Number six came on 57 minutes as Goodrham turned his marker on the right side and fired a diping cross-come-shot that flew over Lavin into the far corner of the net, a strike of quality or luck, only he knows for sure. Another almost came soon after when Josh Johnson hit a shot that looked to be heading for the top corner but a flying Lavin tip over denied the U's man a goal.
Ten minutes later though it was seven as Cooper turned home a Derick Osei-Yaw centre. Still not letting their heads drop, United almost found a consolation when an exchange of passes with Jalloh saw the ball return to substitute Amos Nasha and he struck his shot hard and low but Stevens was equal to it.
Having just created number seven, Osei-Yaw added one for himself on 73 minutes, finishing low into the corner of the United net for number eight. Number nine looked a certainty on 80 minutes as Gatlin O'Donkor was played through, he took the ball around Lavin and in attempting to shoot lost his footing with the ball being blocked on the line by Liam McDevitt and with a scrummage of legs trying to force the ball over the line, Lavin was finally able to dive on it to keep it out.
Just two minutes later though the hosts scored a ninth, Cooper collecting a smart throughball before rounding Lavin to roll the ball home.
The final two chances for a goal both fell to a no doubt bewildered United side. Nasha got his head to a centre after a corner was part cleared but despite beating Stevens, the U's defence was well placed to head the effort off the line and with a couple of minutes remaining, Amartey surged forwards and found Emmanuel, the striker's low shot being pushed aside by a diving Stevens and there endeth the lesson.
We would like to wish Karl Robinson and his Oxford United side all the best in their quest for promotion this season.
Report by Kevin Watts.