Just past the half hour, McLaughlin pushed away a low finish from Ruffels, who had been set up by on loan Norwich City striker Carlton Morris.
It had been a very open start to the match but it soon settled down.
Another player with potential, Dominic Knowles, also earned a start after a bright pre season, with Billy Kee still short of match fitness and on the bench.
The striker surged past Raynes across the box and crossed low for Akins to get ahead of Tom Newey and finish from close range.
off final in May and despite the introduction of Foamposite One a host of new players, it looks intact.
It took almost until the hour mark for United to have an effort at goal, when Morris headed a cross from Newey well wide from eight yards.
That solidity is what took them to the play Nike Dunk Pink Oxford
later, a heavy touch from Knowles saw a promising two on two situation go begging before the young striker had a good chance eight yards out but missed his kick as Akins cross came in.
A poor clearance from Riley was seized upon by Sharps, who dinked a ball over for Beavon on the left.
Akins had looked dangerous every time he got the ball and Oxford had not done enough to stop him.
There was a desperate appeal from the hosts for a handball in Nike Basketball Shoes 2017 Images
Burton Albion enjoy first opening day win in Football League
The big front man looks a handful but was well dealt with by the visitors.
the box against Robbie Weir on the hour but referee Darren Handley gave it barely a thought.
The Brewers got to the break and then kept things tight in the early minutes of the second half.
A 1 0 win, though, especially away from home, will do just fine it a good result without being outlandish and, perhaps more importantly, Burton looked as solid as last season.
McLaughlin had his palms warmed after six minutes as he pushed away Josh Ruffels stinging drive after a good break from Joe Riley.
Alfie Potter, in the past a thorn in Burton side, was hurt heading at goal after 23 minutes, while Beavon fired a powerful shot which Long caught at his near post.
Michael Raynes then picked up a head injury in a challenge with Ian Sharps and was still groggy as Albion took the lead.
Oxford, who sank like a stone at the end of last season after looking a good bet for promotion, had good possession but did not really do much with it. The Brewers were comfortable.
Beavon broke away after 66 minutes with a clever flick over his own head as Akins fired the ball at him.
Beavon then tried a cheeky half volley from Alex MacDonald corner but George Long saved.
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