OXFORD United began 2015 with a home defeat as they crashed to two goals in quick succession from players on loan to Cheltenham Town from Liverpool.

Michael Appleton's men began well and deservedly went ahead through Wes Burns's first goal for the club.

But their comfort in the game did not translate to a second goal and Cheltenham forced a way back into the game through their Premier League loanees.

Jack Dunn classily levelled, before poor defending allowed Kevin Stewart to put them in front just before half-time.

United still had 45 minutes to salvage something, but they lacked a spark in the final third as Cheltenham held on for the victory.

United's teamsheet showed two changes and a switch in formation from their 2-1 win at Plymouth Argyle.

Jon Meades and Johnny Mullins replaced Sam Long and Michael Collins, as they lined up in a 3-4-1-2 system.

It took just 90 seconds to open Cheltenham up, as Meades showed quick feet on the right flank.

He advanced and picked out James Roberts, who got a powerful shot away which goalkeeper Trevor Carson palmed around the far post.

It was part of a promising opening from the home side, who went ahead on 20 minutes.

The ball broke on the halfway line, giving United a three-on-two opportunity.

Burns laid off to Roberts and although his shot was blocked, it fell to Hylton.

The forward delayed his shot, instead crossing for Burns to head into the net.

United were firmly in control, with Cheltenham's back four looking very uncomfortable when they were under pressure.

Burns came close to a second goal with a sharp turn and shot in the area just after the half hour mark, but gradually Cheltenham edged back into the game.

United got careless and when Hylton gave the ball away deep inside his own half it needed an excellent tackle from Chey Dunkley to deny Terry Gornell a clear chance.

Cheltenham, barely in the game for half an hour, grew in confidence and stunned the Kassam Stadium to strike twice in six minutes before the break.

The first goal from Dunn was superbly executed, the striker taking one touch to spin his marker before hammering a low shot which tore past Clarke at his near post.

While there was a touch of class about the equaliser, United were completely at fault for the second goal.

They fell asleep after conceding a corner in first-half stoppage time, allowing Cheltenham to work an opening on the edge of the box.

Stewart had time to line up a curled shot, which came through several players to leave Clarke unsighted, but the goalkeeper will still be disappointed not to keep it out after appearing to reach the ball.

It stunned the home fans, who could not believe their side were behind after being so firmly in charge.

United set about working a way back into the game after the restart.

Josh Ruffels curled a free-kick just wide, while referee Keith Hill waved away calls for a penalty after Andy Whing appeared to be wrestled to the ground at a corner.

Cheltenham retained a threat on the break and just after the hour mark Dunn was sent through on goal.

Clarke hesitated before racing out and just got fingertips to the ball, forcing the striker wide, giving Jake Wright time to get back and clear the resulting shot off the line.

The game was wide open and the home side promptly went up the other end, where Hylton had a good chance blocked.

Further goals looked a certainty, but all of a sudden the chances dried up.

It was not until the final stages when United seriously threatened again.

John Campbell, just on as a substitute, came up with a clever flick at a corner, only to see the ball headed off the line.

Ruffels also let fly with a late shot which Carson only dealt with at the second attempt, but despite pushing hard, United could not find a way through.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Mullins, Dunkley, Wright, Meades, Whing (Rose 72), Ruffels, Holmes-Dennis (O'Dowda 81), Burns (Campbell 74), Roberts, Hylton.

Unused subs: Crocombe, Collins, Long, Ashby.

Cheltenham Tn: Carson, Vaughan, Brown, Jones, Braham-Barrett, Sterling-James (Hanks 57), Stewart, Ferdinand (Deaman 90), Richards, Dunn, Gornell (Williams 79).

Unused subs: Gould, Kotwica, Haworth, Harrison.

Referee: Keith Hill.

Attendance: 5,360 (499 visitors).