Wycombe Wanderers 1 (Grant pen 49) Oxford United 3 (Constable 4, Craddock 46, Mullins 61) (From Oxford Mail)
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Wycombe Wanderers 1 (Grant pen 49) Oxford United 3 (Constable 4, Craddock 46, Mullins 61)
SECOND half goals from Tom Craddock and Johnny Mullins ended Oxford United's losing streak away from home as Wycombe Wanderers were well beaten.
The victory halted a run of six successive league defeats on United's travels and was thoroughly deserved after an intense derby clash.
James Constable's fourth-minute strike separated the sides at the interval and Craddock sublimely doubled the lead with his eighth goal of the season just after the break.
Joel Grant quickly pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, but Mullins' header gave United a cushion in the final half hour.
Skipper Jake Wright returned to the starting line-up, replacing the suspended Michael Raynes.
The only other change to the United starting line-up from Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Rochdale was in midfield, where Adam Chapman came in for Jake Forster-Caskey.
The visitors, backed by 1,800 noisy supporters, made an excellent start.
Chapman curled a free-kick just wide in the opening seconds, before Constable opened the scoring in the fourth minute.
Peter Leven picked out Craddock, who expertly laid the ball off for his strike partner to beat Nikki Bull from 20 yards.
It was only the No 9's second goal of the season and his first in the league since February.
Constable had the ball in the net again on 18 minutes, racing on to Leven's through ball and beating Bull, only to look up and see an offside flag.
The first half was played out in a frantic, derby tempo, with neither side able to retain possession for any length of time.
Three players were booked in the opening half hour by referee Neil Swarbrick, who was quick to penalise any infringements.
Constable's goal was by far the best opening United forged before the break, but at the back they looked solid, led by the excellent Wright and Mullins.
Wycombe, who lost Jo Kuffour to injury, looked most dangerous on the counter-attack, but failed to trouble Ryan Clarke until stoppage time.
Charles Dunne's swerving shot was only parried by the U's goalkeeper, but he and Wright responded superbly to block Grant's follow-up effort.
The game exploded just after the break, when both sides scored in quick succession.
The U's struck first through Craddock, who scored four goals a week earlier. The confidence gained against Accrington Stanley was clear to see as he ran on to a ball over the top from Wright and volleyed past Bull from the edge of the penalty area.
But United's 2-0 lead was short-lived.
Constable was adjudged to have fouled Dave Winfield in the box and Grant stroked home the resulting penalty.
The goal fired up the home side, who briefly rattled United and pushed them back.
The spell lasted until just after the hour mark, when the two-goal lead was restored thanks to an error from Bull.
The Wanderers goalkeeper dropped a free-kick from Leven and the ball found its way to Sean Rigg, whose cross was headed in by Mullins.
A terrific burst from Potter laid on a clear chance for Craddock to make it 4-1, but the striker was denied by a point blank save from Bull.
Wycombe threw everything forward in the closing stages.
United had to dig deep in driving rain and their efforts ensured Wycombe did not have a clear chance to pull a goal back.
The closest they came was a fizzing Matthew Spring effort which flew wide of the post in the 89th minute.
Oxford Utd: Clarke, Whing, Mullins, Wright, Capaldi, Potter, Chapman, Leven (Worley 90), Rigg (Forster-Caskey 67), Constable, Craddock (Pittman 88).
Unused subs: Brown, Heslop, O'Brien, Marsh.
Wycombe: Bull, Stewart, Winfield, Doherty, Dunne, Ainsworth (Morais 62), Scowen, Lewis, Grant, Wood (Spring 78), Kuffour (Logan 38).
Unused subs: Harrison, Angol, Taylor, Hause.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
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