Andy Burgess kept his cool with two clinically-taken late goals in the red-hot cauldron of a packed-out Oxford United stadium on Saturday.

In front of the fourth best gate in Conference history - 8,185 - with more than 7,200 of those supporting the U's, the former Rushden midfielder produced two great finishes to bring Jim Smith's men a third win in a row and keep them five points clear at the top.

You'd think that a penalty is an easy way to score a goal.

But not when your team's regular penalty-taker has just been taken off, when others in the team have made a hash of it from 12 yards and when you know you should be winning the game, but haven't been able to kill the oppositon off.

So it was anything but easy when Burgess stepped up 17 minutes from time in front of . . . well, no-one really, because he was taking it at the open west end. But he had the weight of expectancy of over 8,000 fans behind him seeing what he would do.

To add to the pressure, Burgess had to wait a long time as well, after the referee booked two Aldershot players - Curtis Osanu for bringing down Yemi Odubade for the penalty, and goalkeeper Nikki Bull for dissent.

But he stepped up and with great composure fired the spot kick into the top right corner of the goal as Bull - who had saved from the spot in the FA Cup against Haverhill the previous week - dived the wrong way.

It was the breakthrough United needed, and they sealed the three points 11 minutes later.

Burgess made the goal himself, robbing Rhys Day when the centre half ill-advisedly tried to go round him.

Burgess then sprinted forward, and although he had fast-supporting teammates either side, he didn't need them, shooting past Bull and into the net from just inside the area.

Yet the U's made hard work of beating a spirited Shots side, who probably had the better chances until Burgess's opener.

They weren't at their best, and struggled to open up the Aldershot defence at times, relying heavily on crosses from both flanks.

But their huge crowd went home more than happy . . . singing at the end "we are invincible".

Smith's men played with a lot of width. Rufus Brevett delivered a succession of top-drawer crosses from the left, while Eddie Anaclet was full of running and trickery on the right.

It was from one of Brevett's crosses behind the Shots defence that Chris Hargreaves beat Bull, only to see his shot smash against the bar.

Burgess also went close after a slick three-man move from the home side, but slightly sliced his 25-yard drive, which arced wide.

With their own fans in good voice, Aldershot had plenty of attacking threat and they had the better of the first-half chances.

Only Ryan Williams will know how he didn't score just before the break when David Lee picked him out with a cross from the right.

He arrived unnoticed at the back post, but scooped his simple close-range volley wide.

Before that Billy Turley parried Joel Grant's powerful 18-yard drive, and the lively Grant should have done better with a free header which he couldn't guide goalwards.

The Shots were dealt a blow when Dave Winfield hobbled off injured midway through the first half, Day taking over at centre half.

Smith sprang a surprise by selecting Odubade ahead of Steve Basham, but although Odubade saw plenty of the ball, there was little of the usual link-up between him and Rob Duffy.

Odubade did manage an effort on goal with a glancing header from yet another Brevett centre, but it flashed wide.

Aldershot made a bright start to the second period with Osanu seeing his 25-yard blast arrowing just past the top right corner of Turley's goal.

Moments later, only a great saving tackle by Phil Gilchrist halted Mark Molesley after he had jinked past Barry Quinn.

The visitors seemed to be enjoying themselves as Dean Smith then forced Turley to turn his low shot around a post.

It was a sign of Oxford's frustration that they weren't having things their own way that Duffy was substituted on 66 minutes.

And within seconds of Basham arriving on the pitch, he cushioned a header for Odubade, whose first touch let him down, and the chance was gone.

But Odubade proved too nimble for Osanu as he cut into the box from the right in the 73rd minute, and the ref pointed to the spot.

Penalty king Duffy had just gone off, but in Burgess, there was a more than useful deputy.