JAMES Beattie was thrilled to win at Oxford United and felt, barring some defensive mistakes, his Accrington Stanley side could have won more comfortably.

Kayode Odejayi and James Gray were on target for the visitors and although Ryan Williams pulled a goal back for the hosts, Stanley held on.

Leading 1-0 at half-time, the former Southampton and Everton striker, who was linked with the U’s manager’s position, stressed how crucial it was to finish the job.

He said: “I tried to make them aware it was 45 minutes and it was a defining moment in the season which would really show people what they are all about.

“We only really caused our own problems through dilly-dallying at the back, but other than that I could see us going on to win 3-0 or 4-0.”

The result made sure Accrington would be safe from relegation with a game to spare, some achievement after collecting just four points from the opening 12 matches.

Beattie said: “I’m delighted for the boys and the recovery is now 100 per cent complete.

“We believed in what we were doing right from the word go, even though the start we had was horrific.”