Oxford United humiliated at Bolton Wanderers in 5-0 mauling

Wing backs Nathanael Ogbeta and Josh Dacres-Cogley ensured the hosts had a two-goal lead at the break, before a ruthless 10-minute spell saw the Trotters net three more times in the second period.

George Thomason, Aaron Collins and Josh Sheehan all struck on what was a humiliating night for United in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Des Buckingham again named an unchanged line-up for the third game running, although there was one switch on the bench as Sam Long replaced Jay Matete, who picked up a knock in training.

The Trotters dominated the opening 45 minutes, and took control from the first whistle.

Within the opening sixty seconds, Elliott Moore was called upon to get a block in the way of a Paris Maghoma shot from 20 yards, before Thomason slid the ball down the side for Eoin Toal, who sent a snapshot wide of the far post.

Maghoma then hung a cross in from the right-hand side, with a header from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson brilliantly thwarted by Jamie Cumming, and although the flag went up on the near side, the U’s keeper wasn’t to know that.

Cameron Brannagan smashed a free kick from the right corner of the penalty area into the sidenetting, as United had their first sniff of goal with 10 minutes on the clock.

Ogbeta then saw a low shot inside the box easily held by Cumming, before he opened the scoring five minutes later.

The home side worked the ball from right to left across the edge of the penalty box, with Bodvarsson flicking it to Thomason, who laid it off to Ogbeta.

The Swansea City loanee took a touch, before rifling the ball past a helpless Cumming.

Bolton’s advantage was doubled eight minutes later after a horrible mix-up at the back from the U’s.

Greg Leigh and Cumming got in each other’s way as they both went after a ball clipped into the left back area, allowing Dacres-Cogley the simple task of poking the ball into the unguarded net.

From that point, Ian Evatt’s side took almost complete control of the game, keeping hold of the ball and probing, but without forcing the issue for the remainder of the half.

Buckingham made a change at the break, introducing Long for Fin Stevens, allowing United to match the Trotters by playing with a three-man central defence and wing backs.

Long played on the right of the three, with Leigh and Owen Dale operating at wing back. Josh Murphy, so influential in recent weeks, moved up front next to Mark Harris after a first half whereby the U’s failed to get the winger involved.

The switch mattered little though, as the second period continued in a similar pattern to the first half, with the Trotters penning the U’s into their own half.

Their third goal of the night came just before the hour mark, when Thomason’s strike from outside the area took a heavy deflection off Collins before landing in the back of Cumming’s net.

The Trotters added a fourth six minutes later, and it was far too easy for the hosts. Ogbeta got down the left and sent the ball across the face of goal, where Collins was able to tap home unmarked at the back post.

Evatt’s team were relentless, and grabbed their fifth goal of the evening four minutes after their fourth, as Sheehan’s strike from the edge of the penalty box snuck into the bottom corner.

Veteran striker Cameron Jerome, on as a substitute minutes earlier, then latched onto a ball through the heart of the United backline, however he was denied by Cumming.

Maghoma saw a shot sail over after a corner was cleared as far as him on the edge of the area, before United’s night was summed up when Will Goodwin’s cross was put comfortably wide by Leigh.

Bolton Wanderers (3-1-4-2): Coleman; Jones, Ricardo Santos (Iredale 82), Toal; Sheehan; Dacres-Cogley, Maghoma, Thomason (Dempsey 71), Ogbeta (Williams 75); Bodvarsson (Morley 82), Collins (Jerome 75).

Unused subs: Forrester, Ashworth.

Booked: None.

Oxford United (4-2-3-1): Cumming; Stevens (Long 46), Moore, Brown, Leigh; McGuane, Brannagan; Dale (Bennett 79), Rodrigues (Bodin 66), Murphy (Henry 74); Harris (Goodwin 66).

Unused subs: Eastwood, Thorniley.

Booked: Dale, Brannagan, Brown.

Referee: Sunny Singh Gill (Middlesex)

Attendance: 19,134 (223 away).

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