Narrow reverse for U's at Bristol.
U's Development Coach Richard Hall was pleased with what he saw from his U21s side, as they made their debut performance against Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Tuesday night.
Reflecting on the game, Richard told the official website: "We said as soon as this league was mooted that it would be a challenge for our youngsters but we also saw it as a massive plus in terms of playing against quality players in a quality league and providing a great stepping stone towards first team football.
Merrick James-Lewis and Freddie Ladapo were on target for the U's in their inaugural game at this level.
Two early goals put the U's on the back foot, but they responded well and ran City close as the game eventually finished 3-2.
"It is also great that the majority of these league matches are to be played at the main grounds of the clubs involved. That means that as well as getting used the Weston Homes Community Stadium, the young lads are playing at the likes of the Liberty Stadium at Swansea and Brighton’s fantastic new stadium.
"On this occasion, it wasn't until after the second Bristol goal that we got a foothold in the game and we did then start to play some flowing football. We also pressed them better than we had before the goals and it was this pressure that led to us getting a goal back."
The U's were 3-1 down at the break in the West Country and Richard was pleased with how his side went out and gave it a good go, when weaker sides may have not gone after the match in the second period.
He added: "I asked them to be better in possession, more creative and to concentrate on set pieces.
"And, credit to the lads, they went out for the second half and did everything we asked of them. More in fact, because we dominated the whole forty five minutes, creating chance after chance and really pulling the Bristol defence all over the place.
"I could not have been more pleased with the performance in the second half, well, I suppose we could have scored the goals our dominance deserved, and even their coaches came off wondering how on earth they had won."
The U's U21s are at home on Monday night to Swansea City, 7pm kick-off. Full admission details will be revealed soon.