It was a case of "Heads, I win" for Oxford United yesterday as they chalked up their biggest home victory since August with four headed goals.

But they left it late to exert their authority against a Weymouth side who were woeful at set pieces.

Three goals in five minutes - from Chris Hargreaves, substitute Marvin Robinson and Barry Quinn - finally killed off the visitors' resistance after United had missed their customary hatful of chances.

The win, United's first for five games, puts them within touching distance of the play-offs, and they will book their place in them by winning at relegated St Albans this Saturday.

The Terras were somehow holding on at 1-1 with 12 minutes to go when Hargreaves broke the deadlock again by planting a long-range header from Gavin Johnson's left-wing cross beyond keeper Nick Jones's right hand.

Three minutes later, Robinson powered in another header from Matt Day's long throw.

Weymouth, who had lost their previous two away games last week 7-0 and 4-1, hardly knew what had hit them when their defenders and Jones stood like statues as Quinn climbed to head in Johnson's corner from close range to make it a rout.

Three goals into the open end of the KasStad was almost unheard of. It was the first time United had scored four times at home since their 5-1 annihilation of Northwich last August.

Rob Duffy failed a fitness test on bruised ribs he sustained at Northwich, so United began with Chris Zebroski and Yemi Odubade up front.

Along with Zebroski, Phil Gilchrist, Johnson and Eddie Anaclet all returned to the starting line-up.

United started brightly, and at a good tempo, creating early chances which weren't taken.

Odubade found himself clear with just the keeper to beat inside 50 seconds. For some reason best known to himself, he didn't shoot, and full back Bernard Narada's hard challenge from behind was enough to put Odubade off. Yet amazingly, it was not enough for the ref to give a penalty.

Three minutes later, Odubade skipped around the back of the visitors' defence, but then delivered a poor cross.

When Weymouth broke down the other end, poor defending from United allowed the Terras a two-against-one as Simon Weatherstone burst forward with Gilchrist unable to keep up.

But they too wasted a good opportunity as former U's midfielder Weatherstone screwed his shot across goal.

Oxford soon returned to controlling possession and two further chances went begging.

Hargreaves got up well to meet Martin Foster's corner with a firm header, but planted it a yard over the bar.

And Zebroski's glancing header from 14 yards was comfortably saved at his near post by the keeper.

But midway throught the first half, United took the lead with a smart set-piece goal as Zebroski climbed to head in Foster's corner at the far post for his first goal for the club.

The increased confidence in United's play, following on from the goal, was clear to see as they spread the ball around impressively.

Foster, arriving late from a central midfield position, was close to adding a second with a low shot across the face of the goal, and from another left-wing corner that Hargreaves headed on, Quinn flicked the ball away from keeper Jones's grasp and then headed goalwards, only to see it was blocked on the line.

Weymouth manager Jason Tindall had to put himself on after an injury to centre half Ashley Vickers.

Oxford had had five corners by the time Weymouth earned their first in the 40th minute, but the visitors scored from it.

It was a well-worked move, with Nick Crittenden dummying. Simon Weatherstone's low drive was blocked, but fell nicely for Rafael Nade to sweep home the loose ball from 15 yards.

The first half ended with Weymouth threatening to go in front, Phillips heading wide from Bernard Narada's left-wing cross.

Tindall was yellow-carded at the very start of the second half for chopping down Oodubade as he tried to burst down the right wing.

A slick, simple passing move involving Johnson and Zebroski set up another opening for Odubade, but once again, he didn't hit his shot cleanly, Jones saving his left-footed effort on the turn.

Oxford continued to press, but some of their decision-making was poor - such as Martin Foster's terrible wayward pass when United had three against one on the break, and with Zebroski in acres of space.

Keeper Jones saved when Odubade cut in from the right to fire in a shot, and it was becoming another of those frustrating afternoons of squandered chances.

But then Hargreaves nodded in his first goal at the Kassam Stadium - and the floodgates opened.