OXFORD United’s 1-0 victory over Portsmouth felt even better than their famous 4-1 opening day success at Fratton Park in 2013, according to Johnny Mullins.
Jordan Bowery’s strike 14 minutes from time gave the visitors a precious result which stretched their advantage over Sky Bet League Two promotion rivals Pompey to seven points.
Mullins and centre back partner Jake Wright both excelled on the way to a hard-fought clean sheet.
They were the only survivors from the sides which started United’s memorable success on the same ground two seasons ago, but while the scoreline was less emphatic, the context made it sweeter.
Mullins said: “I would say it’s even better because of how much it meant.
“A point wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but I have to give Skip (Wright) credit, he stepped out and played a wonderful ball for the goal.
“It’s such a good time to come and win. They will take points off teams to the end of the season, hopefully to our favour.”
United were noticeably aggressive all over the pitch, which knocked the hosts out of their stride in the first half.
After the break the visitors had to withstand heavy pressure, especially after Liam Sercombe’s penalty was saved, but Mullins insisted they never felt overwhelmed.
He said: “If the penalty had gone in then we might have gone on to win quite comfortably.
“But I think it gave the crowd a massive lift and for ten or 15 minutes we had to stand up and be counted.
“We knew it would be a difficult game, but I thought we performed and did the ugly side well.”