Tyrone Barnett's last touch as an Oxford player gave them all three points against Bury this afternoon. United came from behind to draw level through an own goal and then Barnett powered a Wes Burns cross home in the 90th minute to give the U's the perfect parting present.
Wes Burns, on debut made a very encouraging start on the right, with Danny Hylton switching to the left to accommodate the on-loan Bristol City man. Burns’ pace was clearly a worry to the visitors in a game full of neat short passes between two teams equally committed to passing football.
Burns had the first effort of the game with a low shot on 16 minutes before loud penalty appeals were waved away on 18 when Tom Soares knocked Hylton over right on the edge of the box. It was borderline, with ref Stephen Martin erring on the side of caution by awarding a free kick which Danny Rose (Oxford version- there was one on each side) dinked a foot over the bar.
Most of the first 45 minutes was played in the Bury half with Ryan Clarke untested while opposite number Shwan Jalal, a United loanee last season, made the best save of the half by racing from his line to deny Hylton as he ran on to a Michael Collins through ball. Bury’s only real effort of the opening period came in the second minute of time added on when Andrew Tutte thundered a free kick against the bar, but that effort apart United had defended solidly and looked comfortable.
The second half was far more open and it was the U’s who had three good chances in the first fifteen minutes to take the lead. Barnett and Burns had shots deflected wide and Andy Whing’s screamer would have won goal of the season if a yard lower (and a bit to the left).
However Bury were starting to look more potent themselves and on 63 were in front. Clarke performed heorics to keep Hallam Hope’s fierce shot out but Danny Mayor was on hand to pick up the loose ball, dummy into space and then crack his shot past the recovering Clarke to make it 1-0.
It might have been two when Tutte struck the bar for the second time (Tutte Tutte) with a wonderful shot from 20 yards that dipped over the flying Clarke but struck the frame of the goal, but that would have been very harsh on United and on 69 minutes they were back on level terms as Hylton bustled to the by-line and cut the ball back. Craig Jones, sliding in, got there first but could only steer the ball past the helpless Jalal for an own goal to make it 1-1.
The final 20 minutes were pretty open as Bury, without a win in five, and a United side fresh from three straight draws both went for the three points. Johnny Mullins drifted a header across the face of goal but wide of the far post, Collins was shunted out of the way as he was about to crack a Holmes-Dennis cross into the net and then in the very last minute United took all three points as Burns burst away once more and clipped the ball across the box for the unmarked Barnett to smash his header past Jalal and win the game for the U's.
Four goals in the last three games of his loan period and more importantly a massive win for the U's: six games unbeaten and on the rise.
Att: 6,912 Away: 215
Fifty/50 winning number 367283 wins £1,008
Report by Chris Williams, Pictures Darrell Fisher, Stats by OPTA
See reaction and highlights in Yellow Player