JAMES Constable admitted finally ending a drought in front of goal lifted a weight from his shoulders in Oxford United’s 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The striker went into the game at the Memorial Stadium without having scored in his last 11 games, his longest barren run for 16 months.

But the 29-year-old did not look short of confidence after ten minutes when he made the most of Deane Smalley’s lay-off to bury a shot into the net from just inside the box.

It took Constable into double figures for the campaign, just four goals away from becoming United’s all-time top scorer.

After two months without a goal, the dry streak had been troubling the No 9 and until the ball hit the net he had doubts over converting the opportunity.

He said: “I was unsure what Deano was going to do because he was in quite a good position himself.

“The second he chested it down there was one thing on my mind, which was to try and get it on target.

“When I hit it I thought ‘it’s going to go miles over’ because I hit it that hard, but luckily it nestled in the top corner.

“Normally when it goes in it’s just nice to score, but obviously with the run I’ve been on without a goal it plays on your mind.

“As a striker you want to be scoring goals and you feel that you want to be helping the team out more by putting the ball in the back of the net.

“It was a big relief to put it away that early in the game and we are just disappointed we didn’t go on and make it a bit more comfortable.”

Constable has tended to score goals in batches during previous seasons.

After breaking the run, he hopes more are just around the corner, although after starting all United’s nine games in the last 29 days, a week without a midweek fixture is very welcome.

“Scoring gives you that confidence to go into the next games,” he said.

“We have Mansfield at home on Saturday now which is going to be a difficult game.

“We have a decent week of training now and we look forward to that.”

He added: “It’s nice, I think there are a few lads with niggles, so it will be nice to have a couple of days where we can train and have a little bit more time to work and get ready for Mansfield.”