THE second half of our ten defining moments for Oxford United in 2015 starts with a sensational cup win.
6 – BLOWING BEES AWAY
August 11: Brentford 0, Oxford Utd 4
The context: A summer full of good news had sent expectations soaring, but a 1-1 draw at home to Crawley Town on the opening day of the season brought many back down to earth.
The season was only three days old, but United had a point to prove when they headed to Griffin Park three days later.
What happened: An extraordinary start saw the Championship club, which had reached the play-offs three months earlier, torn to shreds.
Liam Sercombe and Danny Hylton had already scored when, in the 12th minute, Kemar Roofe scored a stunning long-range goal.
While Brentford were awful, this scintillating spell was the first real glimpse of what the new-look United squad could deliver. Johnny Mullins capped off an amazing night with the fourth goal.
Michael Appleton said: “I said to them at half-time ‘regardless of what happens in the second half can I just say a big thank you'.”
- Watch highlights of Oxford United's stunning start, via the club's official Youtube channel
- Kemar Roofe celebrates scoring a special winner in front of the TV cameras at Bristol Rovers
7 – ROOFE LIGHTS UP TV TEST
September 6: Bristol Rovers 0, Oxford United 1
The context: Many supporters will have shuddered at the news United's trip to the Memorial Ground had been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports.
They had got used to watching from behind the sofa during the U's previous three games on television, which had been lost by an aggregate score of 11-1.
What happened: Quite a few neutrals must have switched off in an opening hour of scrappy football which which saw both sides reduced to ten men.
But anyone still watching was richly rewarded by an astonishing first-time finish from Kemar Roofe which won the game, ending United’s TV jinx.
Joe Skarz said: “Not many people would’ve taken that on, never mind hit it first time.”
- See Kemar Roofe's jaw-dropping winner
- Supporters unveil a massive banner in the East Stand as the teams ran out
8 – FANS GET ROBINS ON THE RUN
October 6: Oxford United 2, Swindon Town 0
The context: Johnstone’s Paint Trophy or not, Oxford United versus Swindon Town always matters.
What happened: Most U’s players and staff had not experienced this derby before, but anyone unsure of the importance will have seen all they needed to know before kick-off, when an enormous banner was unfurled.
After Jordan Turnbull was sent off, the hosts bossed the game and Kemar Roofe’s double made it five derby wins in a row.
Michael Appleton said: “It was absolutely incredible and those scenarios lift players massively.”
- Highlights from Oxford United's fifth successive win against Swindon Town
- Roy Hodgson takes part in a conga line at Oxford United's gala dinner
9 – OCT 29: ROY OF THE RAVERS
The context: Progress off the pitch is viewed just as seriously as results on it by United, who relaunched their community section with a gala dinner.
What happened: More than £75,000 was raised, but the night will be remembered for guest of honour, England manager Roy Hodgson, taking part in a conga.
He said: “I’ll probably regret that in the morning.”
- Danny Hylton (right) celebrates his winner against Hartlepool United, a goal John Lundstram enjoyed in particular
10 – TOP OF THE TREE
November 28: Hartlepool United 0, Oxford United 1
The context: The U’s had found a rich vein of form, winning ten of their previous 14 games to make progress in three competitions.
What happened: Like the previous week’s clash at Dagenham, also won 1-0, the U’s were second best for long spells at Victoria Park.
But a moment of quality sealed by Danny Hylton won the game to send them top of the table for the first time in nearly two years.
Hylton said: “Games like that I believe are where you win the league.”
- Watch how Oxford United went top of the table