WES Thomas was delighted to show he could still deliver as his first goal in ten months sent Oxford United on the way to victory at Oldham Athletic.

The striker’s perfectly-timed run was picked out by Jack Payne’s pass, sending him through to put the U’s in front six minutes before half-time.

Josh Ruffels struck in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory – United’s first in 16 attempts at Boundary Park.

Although Thomas was the side’s top-scorer in pre-season with four goals, this was his first since in a competitive game since last October.

The 30-year-old endured months of painful rehabilitation after snapping an Achilles tendon, so was thrilled to find the net.

He said: “I’ve been out for so long and I’m happy I showed I’ve still got it.

“It (the injury) wasn’t something I thought about, but I’m just happy we got the three points.

“I woke up and thought ‘you need to do the business’ because it doesn’t matter what you do in pre-season.

“If you don’t do it in these games, you find yourself out of the team.

“I knew I had to make sure I got off to a good start.”

Thomas also struck on the opening day of last season, when United were pegged back late on to draw 1-1 at home to Chesterfield.

“Last season we probably should’ve won the first game and didn’t,” Thomas said.

“This was a tough game and we needed to make sure we competed physically.

“We knew we could cause them problems, but we knew we had to compete and I think we did that.”

Debutant Payne impressed in his role playing just behind Thomas and showed great vision with the pass for the goal.

United’s No 9 is looking forward to working with the on-loan midfielder.

He said: “The more we play together the better that combination will get.

“I can make my runs off him and hopefully get more goals like that.

“I was looking to bend it, but the keeper started creeping and he left a big gap at his near post and I just slotted it away.

“It’s all about keeping your cool and making sure you get the right connection on the ball.”

Oldham skipper Peter Clarke felt United got the rub of the green with refereeing decisions.

“My initial reaction was he (Thomas) was about two or three yards offside,” he said.

“They are big calls. It changes the complexion and if we had gone in at half-time 0-0 then with us being the better side I think we probably would have gone on and won the game.”