Youngster Tyler Goodrham became an instant hero today as he came off the bench to hammer home a debut goal that won the three points for the U's against Cambridge.
Goodrham marked his first league appearance with an injury-time winner that gave United their first points of the season.
The visitors should really have been ahead after 18 minutes when Harvey Knibbs nibbled a chance wide from close range, or five minutes later when Harrison Dunk dunked a long-range effort a foot over Simon Eastwood’s crossbar. George Williams had a shot blocked too but I don’t have a pun for that.
For the second game in a row United’s new 4-2-3-1 shape looked very solid, Josh Murphy slotting in to the right of the three as the one change from the team beaten at Derby on opening day. But set pieces were United’s best resource before the break; Marcus Browne drive a free kick just over and was then barged over five minutes before the break, only for ref Tom Reeves to wave away his penalty claims.
Boss Karl Robinson had stressed the need for patience before the game; United scored so many goals last season that expectations are high and when they come up against a well-organised defence they need to keep doing the right things, knowing chances will eventually arrive. Taylor, Murphy and Browne all saw efforts blocked around the box and gradually they started to gain ground, without forcing keeper Dimitar Mitov into a save in the first hour of the match.
He had to get involved to tip a Taylor header over the bar on 68, and with the introduction of James Henry and debutant Lewis Bate - very impressive in his brief cameo - adding guile and energy, the home side began to look much the more likely U's to win the game, despite Sam Smith dragging a late chance wide for the away team.
The closest we came to a goal before stoppage time was an 81st-minute header from skipper Elliott Moore that Mitov tipped over, and then the keeper pushed away another header from Matty Taylor from the resulting corner as United chased the goal their second-half performance had deserved.
In the end it came late when Goodrham took the ball past his man on the left and then perfectly angled his drive across the keeper and into the roof of the net. A dream moment for one of the nicest lads you will ever meet.
There were further plusses - a clean sheet and a first appearance from Jodi Jones among them - but Goodrham deserves his day in the sun and United are up and running...
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Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels and Steve Edmunds, stats by OPTA