Matt Green's fifth goal of the season got Oxford United back to winning ways at Marston Road, but it was incredible that they didn't win by a bigger margin.

They were breaking forward at will at times, and missed half a dozen excellent scoring chances.

But it was a much better all-round performance from the team after the home defeat by Burton, and there were some very good displays in midfield, from Adam Murray, Jamie Hand and Eddie Anaclet.

In the end it proved a comfortable victory against relegation-threatened Stafford, who have failed to take a point off Oxford in four meetings now over two seasons.

Playing in all blue, United got off to the perfect start with Green's opener, which came in the 11th minute.

They had dominated play from the start, much sharper to the ball than they were last week and with Anaclet and Green, in particular, making real inroads down the right.

In the fourth minute, a quick break from the visitors saw them create a great opportunity with Green beating Rangers' offside trap and sprinting 20 yards clear down the right touchline.

Justin Richards was in the middle, but might have been offside which was probably why Green waited just a couple of seconds before passing it square to his teammate, and that delay proved costly as centre back Djoumin Sangare, charging back, headed out for a corner.

Phil Trainer then went close with a powerful header, a foot wide of the right post, from Green's right-wing cross after the on-loan Cardiff striker had again broken free on the right.

The goal came after good work by Anaclet. Luke Foster played it into the box and Green worked himself into space for a shot and then stabbed it past keeper Danny Alcock and high into the net from 12 yards.

As well as playing the game in steady drizzle, the players also found the pitch uneven at times, and the goalmouths were quite muddy.

Stafford forced a few openings as they tried to hit back from the early blow of going behind.

Liam Hughes fired a shot straight into Turley's midrif from outside the area, and right back Richie Sutton got up well at a corner but could only direct his downward header across the face of goal and wide, though the U's did have defenders on the line in case.

United's front two of Richards and Green were proving a real handful to a Stafford defence that looked very square, and whose centre backs, Sangare and Wayne Daniel looked limited in the extreme.

But, trying to play off the shoulder of the centre backs, the U's strikers were several times caught offside.

Hand was looking fitter and much sharper than in the Burton game, and as well as winning some crunching tackles, he launched an excellent raid just before half-time.

This time, for a change, it came down the left. Hand knocked the ball across to Green at the far post, and although he had Adam Murray up in support, Green chose to go it alone and fired over the bar.

Oxford fans were pulling out their hair in anger and frustration when, having won a free-kick in a great position in the 45th minute, Trainer then overhit it badly, and it fizzed over the bar, with eight players waiting for a proper delivery into the box.

Stafford made two changes at half-time, replacing their strikeforce and bringing on veteran forward Neil Grayson.

But as soon as the action resumed, Oxford exerted their authority.

As soon as Turley caught a free-kick above his head, he half-volleyed a clearance 50 yards downfield towards Anaclet, who fended off two defenders and after playing a one-two, cut in and hit a low shot that Alcock got down to save.

The busy Anaclet then met a low right-wing cross from Green witha first-tme shot that drifted agonisngly just wide.

Hand then tried his luck from 35 yards with his left peg, a good effort that bolunced just in front of the keeper.

Craig McAllister took over from Richards just before the hour mark.

Alcock made a super save from Green after an excellent visitors' attack on 62 minutes. Murray drove a pass half of the length of the pitch, Anaclet reached it and then crossed first-time and Green met the low centre with an instant shot at goal, but the keeper somehow blocked it.

Moments later, Quinn went close with a header.

The U's really should have been at least two goals in front by now and it was a concern that Stafford only needed a fortunate break to be level.

And Turley showed bravery in racing off his line and diving at the feet of Jarrett.

United's wastefulness in front of goal, showed no sign of abating, though. Hand won possession in the middle for McAllister to have a free run at goal, but the striker mystifyingly decided to pass it across to Hand again, rather than have a shot, and a defender intervened.

A superb passing move involving Hand ended with McAllister knocking in a good shot that looked to be the second goal, but Alcock, diving to his right, stretched out a hand to push it for a corner, for a great save.

Three minutes from time, Trainmer got the ball down and drove in a fierce shot from the left edge of the area, and Alcock again got down sharply to save.

But for their keeper, Stafford might have been heavily beaten.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Day, Quinn, Foster, Howard, Anaclet, Hand, Murray, Trainer (Rose 89), Richards (McAllister 59), Green. Subs not used: Fisher, Benjamin, Blackwood.

Booked: Day.

Att: 962 (277 from Oxford).