Matt Green struck a brilliant winner as Oxford United stunned promotion-chasing Stevenage and notched their third straight victory in the Blue Square Premier.

It came on 71 minutes at the Kassam Stadium, just three minutes after Stevenage had equalised with a fortunate deflected shot that left Billy Turley wrong-footed.

Substitute Craig McAllister did well to head back Matt Day's long throw-in from the right and, despite having his back to goal and half a dozen players opponents between him and the goal, Green swivelled and lashed a drive high into the net.

It was a super finish to seal another impressive three points for Darren Patterson's men after United had been the better team, and played some fine football.

Phil Trainer had put them ahead in the first half.

Trainer likes Bank Holidays. He got his first goal since Boxing Day with a neat 27th-minute header, and it was fully deserved after the U's had constantly stretched Peter Taylor's Stevenage side, who had started the day third in the table.

Eddie Anaclet showed fierce determination in reaching the ball before a Stevenage defender and chipped a cross over three Stevenage defenders to an unmarked Trainer, who headed down and into the net from six yards.

The former Moor Green midfielder, looking much fresher since returning to the side after a break, also hit the post just before half-time.

He probably should have scored, but it was with his less favoured right foot and his close-range effort, from Matt Day's deep cross, thumped against the upright.

There was just one change to United's starting line-up after their excellent 3-0 win at Halifax. Michael Howard's wife had gone into labour in the morning and he rushed back to their home in Swansea to be be with her.

Michael Blackwood came back into the side to take Howard's position at left back.

There was a strong, swirling wind to go with the bitterly cold conditions, making it feel much more like Christmas than Easter, and making it very different to the August Bank Holiday meeting between the sides at Broadhall Way, which finished goalless.

Pressing well when Borough had the ball, and confident in possession, Oxford started well, knocking the ball around smartly to feet, but also playing it long quite often, knowing that Matt Green and Justin Richards would compete tigerishly and frequently come away with the ball.

Stevenage striker Steve Morison broke forward in acres of space on the left in the sixth minute but, just as he bore down on goal, overran the ball and Billy Turley dived to save at his feet.

Green was harshly flagged offside on one occasion when he seemed to be level with the last defender and the strikers were caught offside a couple more times before Trainer went close with a fine effort on 19 minutes.

Anaclet crossed deep from the right and though he was some way beyond the far post and with a marker shackling him closely, Trainer managed to volley the dropping ball with his left peg and it flew into the side netting, just deflecting off the defender, for a corner.

Morison, Stevenage's prolific leading scorer, had tried an ambitious 25-yard effort which flew over the bar, and ex-United youth team striker Jerome Anderson finished off a positive long run from deep with a low shot from the edge of the box that Turley comfortably saved.

Trainer's breakthrough goal was his fifth of the season, and even after it, Oxford continued to dominate.

Jamie Hand struck a ferocious 40-yard drive, after a slick interchange of passes, that keeper Alan Julian saved high above his head, and then, on the stroke of half-time, Trainer was inches away from making it 2-0 with his shot against the woodwork.

Stevenage rallied at the start of the second half and Peter Vincenti fired a shot across the face of the goal, and just two yards past Turley's right post.

But first Day and then Barry Quinn made terrific tackles to stop Borough forwards in their tracks.

Further forward, Adam Murray was having a stroming game, pulling all the strings in the middle of the pitch and combining well with Hand, who was having a much better game than in his last home match against Burton.

Stevenage's leveller came exactly midway through the second half, and immediately followed two substitutions.

United were caught napping straight after, and Borough midfielder John Martin, not closed down two yards outside the area, hit a low drive which deflected off the back of Quinn and nestled into the net with Turley having no chance of saving.

But it was an excellent response from the home side as they returned to the other end and Green showed what a quality player he is with his sixth goal for the club.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Day, Quinn, Foster, Blackwood, Anaclet (Rose 88), Murray, Hand, Trainer, Richards (McAllister 68), Green. Subs not used: Clarke, Odubade, Hutchinson.

Booked: Green.

Att: 4,456 (252 from Stevenage).