JOSH Ruffels savoured a perfect start to the season for Oxford United and himself as the midfielder’s goal secured a 2-0 victory at Oldham Athletic.

The home side were threatening to cancel out Wes Thomas’s strike when the 23-year-old took his chance to double the lead 19 minutes from time.

A two-goal cushion ensured United avoided a tense finish to the game and while Ruffels was not getting carried away with one result, the midfielder was delighted.

He said: “I think you could say it’s a pretty perfect start.

“It’s a great building block now for the season.

“There’s always things we can improve and it wasn’t an easy game, it never is when you come to places like this, but I think we adapted really well to how they played.”

He added: “I think anyone with a brain would have to say we need to take it step-by-step.

“It’s a long old season and we just have to move on to the next game and focus on that.”

Dealing with Sky Bet League One’s most direct sides was an issue for United last season and they took just one point from their two meetings with Oldham.

And Ruffels knows replicating performances like this will represent a big step forward.

He said: “We dropped a lot of points against teams like this.

“If we can turn that around this season we’ll be right up there in and around it.”

The goal continued a hot streak for the Kidlington midfielder, who finished last season in fine form.

Having scored just twice in his first 121 appearances for United, he now has now found the net in three of his last four competitive games.

When the chance came, he could not believe his luck as the defence parted.

“I was surprised how much space I had,” he said.

“Jack (Payne) did really well to play me in and I just tucked it away.

“I don’t think I could do much else with it, but use my right foot and my toe to get it in.

“I haven’t set a goal target yet, but if I keep plugging away I might have to by December.”