Oxford boss Karl Robinson paid tribute to his goalkeeper Jack Stevens after he made four outstanding saves in the 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.
Goals from Jordan Obita and Matty Taylor in the opening 22 minutes – both quality strikes – earned the U’s back-to-back wins.
But the Dons hit back hard and it was only thanks to Stevens, who kept out efforts from Ethan Chislett, Callum Reilly, Ryan Longman and Shane McLoughlin, that Oxford hung on.
Robinson said: “I think Jack was everybody’s man of the match. He was excellent. He was very calm in all his decision-making.
“The second half wasn’t great from us but in the first half we were safe.
“We defended with real grit and determination to get the clean sheet.
“That’s the best AFC team I’ve seen. They’re coached well and have young players full of energy.
“We’ve never seen them play a diamond and after they changed to that at half-time they caused us problems. They were much better at coping with it than we were.
“But they are no mugs, they are a good footballing team.
“We could have been 3-0 up at half-time, but Matty Taylor passed it in front of goal – I’ve never seen him do that!
“And AFC’s game next week is off so they had nothing to hold back for and threw everything at it.
“We allowed them to create far too many chances for my liking but we defended strongly.
“We were ruthless in both boxes – both in front of goal and defending, with players throwing themselves in the way of shots to make blocks, and we’re going in the right direction.”
Dons boss Glyn Hodges said: “We created chance after chance but their keeper had all the answers. He was terrific.
“It’s not often that in a 2-0 home win your keeper wins man of the match. He was inspired and made some fantastic saves.
“And when we did get it past him there was someone blocking the shot on the line.
“We’ve had three games now where we’ve created plenty of chances, we just haven’t picked up the points we have deserved.
“But we practise finishing every day and we’ll be working hard on our finishing again this week. And it’s good that we now have another full week, without a game, to work on things on the training ground. It should be a great week ahead of us.
“I’m not too unhappy because if we keep creating that many chances we will score goals and start picking up more points.
“The stats from today tell the story – we had 16 shots, with eight on target.
“I was disappointed with their goals. For the first one, one of my players slipped, and with the second one, one of their players ran from deep and we didn’t pick him up.
“But our reaction from that was good.
“It’s just sometimes you have to hand it to a goalkeeper when he has a day like that.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe