Two goals from Tyler Goodrham sent Oxford United to the top of the early table with a 2-1 win over Charlton at the Kassam Stadium this afternoon.
Goodrham's double, ether side of Alfie May's strike for the visitors, made it four wins in a row for the U's, who played some delightful football while winning their second home game of the season.
Charlton caused plenty of problems in the first five minutes and it needed a smart save from Brighton loanee James Beadle to keep a Nathan Asiimwe drive out and then a brave block at the feet of Alfie May as the visitors looked for an early goal. But from then on United took control of the first half.
After ten minutes they were in front when Goodrham ran at the retreating Addicks back line, with Ruben Rodrigues, Billy Bodin and Mark Harris all alongside. His teammates made runs that drew men away and Goodrham exploited the space to hammer the ball past Harry Isted for a superb second goal of the season.
Pressing Charlton all over the pitch, United continually stole the ball in dangerous areas; Bodin and Rodrigues both went close as a result and there was some delightful football as they dominated the game. One dummy from Harris to send Marcus McGuane free on half way left half the South Stand looking the wrong way, while McGuane ran the game with a commanding performance in midfield.
All that was missing was a second goal and that really should have been a formality when Goodrham again sprinted clear on 38 minutes but picked out the one covering defender, with the unmarked Harris and Bodin waiting to apply the finishing touch.
Booed off by their travelling fans, the stung Addicks had three different players on by the start of the second half and looked far more fired up. They had left three United players crumpled in heaps before the 50th minute and ended up with seven players booked plus a member of the backroom team.
Just after the hour that fighting spirit paid off, when May found space inside the box and buried the ball below Beadle to pull Dean Holden's side level.
Now the game went end to end. The excellent Stephan Negru didn't quite get enough on a dropping ball with the goal at his mercy, and a Brannagan free kick hammered into Isted's chest as it flew through the wall with nine minutes left. United needed a hero, and when Rodrigues flicked the ball to sub Stan Mills the ball broke to the perfect person. Goodrham squeezed the ball past the exposed Isted and United were back in front.
Twelve points from 12 and a place at the summit as the league table begins to take meaningful shape. As first months of the season go, it's been pretty good and there is still more to come from this exciting United side.
Come and join us next week when we welcome Port Vale to the Kassam Stadium.
Report by Chris Williams, pictures JasonPix, Steve Edmunds, Steve Daniels and Darrell Fisher