Oxford United made light of the absence of leading scorer Rob Duffy to register their seventh win in nine away games this season with a storming display at the Abbey Stadium.

Yemi Odubade hit his first brace for the club and Chris Hargreaves continued his habit of getting on the scoresheet away from home, netting for the second away game in succession.

It was a cake-walk for Oxford who controlled the game from start to finish in a victory that extends their lead at the top of the Conference to five points.

Odubade opened the scoring in the 28th minute, the very least Oxford deserved for dominating the first half.

And when Hargreaves headed home a second, 11 minutes after the break, it was game over.

Playing in all white, because of Cambridge's amber shirts, United soon took control, dominating possession with simple, crisp passing.

Only a superb last-ditch tackle by Michael Morrison stopped Steve Basham in his tracks in the eighth minute, Morrison lungeing in to knock the ball out for a corner when Basham was in a great position on the left side of the area.

Moments later, after the corner had been half-cleared, Chris Willmott planted a far-post header wide.

Odubade and Basham were combining well up front, embarking on positive runs and always making themselves available for passes from the midfield three, who were soon taking control.

Indeed, Jim Smith's men were in such command that 70 per cent of the opening 45 minutes was played in the Cambridge half.

Odubade went close when he charged down a less than convincing clearance from goalkeeper Paul Crichton, the ball rebounding wide for a goalkick.

Other promising situations came to nothing, before, in the 28th minute, the visitors scored with a well-worked passing move.

Cambridge's new loan signing from Derby, James Meredith, was dispossessed near the touchline by Eddie Anaclet, who passed instantly to Basham to his left.

Basham spotted Odubade 15 yards to his left, picked him out with a precision pass, and the unmarked former Eastbourne Borough striker, unmarked had time to control the ball and then shoot low into the bottom left corner from ten yards., with Crichton diving the wrong way. Carl Pettefer showed neat skills to beat two players before driving just over from 22 yard There was little to be seen of Cambridge as an attacking force, with Oxford closing down well and making them shoot from distance, their former midfielder Rob Wolleaston sending one long-range effort well over.

At the start of the second half, Hargreaves showed great determination to win a race for the ball inside his own area against Marcus Richardson, after poking it away from another Cambridge player.

Hargreaves doubled Oxford's lead in the 56th minute and it was once again another fine team move.

Basham slipped a pass to Rufus Brevett on the left.

Brevett hung up a cross and Hargreaves, arriving between the Cambridge centre backs on a good run, headed in from six yards.

The teams were starting to look leagues apart, which they may indeed be next season, and from an Andy Burgess corner, Barry Quinn headed against the top of the bar.

For some reason, the ref awarded a corner instead of a goal-kick.

Burgess played it short to Hargreaves, who crossed to the far post, and from Chris Willmott's header back across goal, Phil Gilchrist's header was blocked and Odubade fired home the loose ball.

Odubade had a chance of his hat-trick as he broke through the inside right channel, but Crichton turned his shot aside for a corner.

Billy Turley, whose main problems had been in dealing with coins apparently thrown from behind his goal, had to make one smart save near the end, from Liam Marum's downward header.

On the evidence of this performance, Jimmy Quinn has a very hard job on his hands at Cambridge, who looked very limited, low on confidence and low on spirit.

It was a comprehensive victory, and full of good, bright football, with finishing to match this time.

After their recent draws, United were back to their best.