CHRIS Wilder was encouraged with Oxford United’s performance despite the agony of seeing his side go down to a last-gasp defeat at Northampton Town last night.

Brett Williams’s 91st-minute strike gave the Cobblers a 2-1 win at the end of a high- octane nPower League Two game at Sixfields.

It was tough to take for the U’s, who had looked set to go on and win the game after Cristian Montano’s strike early in the second half, with Adam Chapman having a penalty saved.

Despite suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time since November, Wilder was upbeat over the display, which was a vast improvement on last weekend’s home defeat to Morecambe.

He said: “We’re really disappointed with the result, but I’ve got to say I’m pretty pleased with the way we played.

“They really came at us and to concede after 50 seconds was disappointing.

But the reaction from the players after that, I thought there was only going to be one winner but we’ve been done on the break by a sucker-punch.

“We lose a game, but we’re in decent nick.”

The defeat came at a heavier cost to United, with Michael Duberry sent off late on and Peter Leven sent to hospital with a leg injury following a fair but firm tackle in the first half.

It was too early to tell last night, but the Scot’s reaction after the challenge indicated a serious problem, which could rule him out for the rest of the season.

Wilder thought the performance from his side deserved maximum points.

But he felt the main lesson was the value in seeing out a game to claim a point – as play-off rivals Crewe Alexandra and Gillingham had done earlier in the day.

He said: “Going into the last five minutes, if we can’t win then we need to take something from the game and that’s been the message to the players.

“That’s what has disappointed me, we should have had three points with the quality of the play, but we’d have taken one.

“The other teams have played away from home with tough games, like this one, and taken a point.

“If we had taken a point out of it we’d have moved on and we have to learn that when these situations happen we don’t switch off – which we’ve done.”