GOALS from Jonte Smith, Owen James and Kyran Lofthouse gave Oxford United’s under 23 side a 3-0 win over Hull City to boost hopes of qualifying from their Premier League Cup group.

The victory at Thame United’s ASM Stadium took the U’s level on points with second-placed Swansea City with one game remaining.

James threatened early on in a bright start from the hosts which also saw Nico Jones’s header at a corner cleared off the line.

Smith had two chances in the air, steering Samir Carruthers’ cross wide with the first chance and heading Lofthouse’s centre weakly at Hull goalkeeper Callum Burton.

Lewis Ritson blasted a chance wide from close range, but United opened the scoring a minute before half-time.

A burst from Carruthers saw the midfielder brought down in the box and Smith coolly tucked away the penalty.

United’s lead was doubled five minutes after the restart. A quality first-time cross from Matt Berry-Hargreaves picked out James, who headed the ball back across goal into the corner of the net.

Hull then had their best spell of the game, but found goalkeeper Jack Stevens in excellent form.

He made fine stops to deny Billy Chadwick, Danny Lupano and Callum Smith.

And Lofthouse completed an excellent night by smashing a third goal in with seconds remaining after Carruthers and Albie Hopkins combined.

United’s group fixtures finish on February 22 against Wolverhampton Wanderers, at Molineux.

Oxford Utd: Stevens, Berry-Hargreaves, Long, Jones, Taylor, Carruthers, McCreadie, Lofthouse, Lopes (Hopkins 77), James, Smith (Bradbury 62).

Unused subs: Harris, Niblett, Crooks.

Attendance: 156.