Oxford boss Karl Robinson paid tribute to his club’s fans after they stood and applauded at the end despite their team wasting chance after chance in the 1-1 draw with Gillingham.
Matty Taylor fired the U’s in front after five minutes from Herbie Kane’s pass through the middle, for his first goal in seven matches.
But Alex MacDonald levelled for Gillingham with a spectacular equaliser from 30 yards just after the half hour that nestled in the bottom corner.
Oxford laid siege to the Gills goal in the second half with dozens of shots and crosses, but no one could put the ball in the net and the U’s are now without a win in five.
Robinson said: “I must salute the way our fans were at the end of the game.
“That did my team talk for me for next Tuesday night because the fans were amazing and they felt the pain of this not being three points.
“But they are knowledgeable football fans and they knew how much effort the players had put into this.
“There was very little not to like about my team’s performance apart from not taking the chances.
“If I have one criticism it’s that once we’ve got one goal we haven’t gone on to get a second and third when we had the chance.
“I felt we did get sloppy after 25 minutes when they came back into it. But in the second half the energy levels shown by the players was outstanding. Maybe the players were slashing at things rather than let them happen.
“But I’m not too worried though. It will come, I’m sure of it.
“Overall I’m really, really happy with how we played and Herbie Kane was tremendous for us. He sees passes quickly and sees forward passes that other players don’t see.
“All I can do after a game like that is look to the skies because it beggars belief that we’re not looking at three points at the end of it.
“Yes, we’ve got to make sure we kill teams off when we get the chance, but I can’t really ask any more of the players – they never stopped doing the right things. We’ve just got to keep playing like this and the wins will come.”
Gillingham manager Steve Evans reflected on a fifth draw of the season for his team.
He said: “It’s a hard-fought point and we showed a lot of resilience and good quality to come back the way we did.
“We were taken aback at the start when our two centre-halves got caught between picking Matty Taylor up and not. Both thought the other one was doing it. But we came back well and had some good chances.
“I’ve seen Alex MacDonald do that kind of thing in training, we know he’s capable of that.
“In the second half we expected Oxford to have plenty of the ball, but Jamie Cumming has only really had to make one save of note, when he was pushed as well
“We should have had a spot-kick for handball right at the death. It was a clear penalty. The referee gave a few decisions wrong, but he’s a good referee.
“League One is a tough league this season. Last year there were a few gimmies but this time every week it’s a tough game.
“Yes, it is disappointing not to have more wins but first and foremost you need to be hard to beat and we have shown that in us. Then you need that bit of quality and we’re working on that.”
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