A STUNNING strike from Kemar Roofe ensured Oxford United finished the season on a high with a hard-fought win at ten-man Newport County.

The in-form forward made it six goals in the last seven games with a rising shot from the right corner of the area on the half hour mark.

Newport had Mike Flynn sent off in first-half stoppage time, but United were unable to extend their lead after the break.

The home side finished the game strongly, but the U's withstood the late pressure to win their third successive game.

It extended their unbeaten run to eight games as they finished the campaign in 13th position.

Michael Appleton resisted the temptation to shuffle his pack for the final game, making just one change, which was enforced.

As expected Johnny Mullins had not recovered from the concussion he sustained last weekend, so Andy Whing started - and took on the armband.

The bench was packed with youth, including goalkeeper Max Crocombe, as Ryan Clarke was omitted.

Neither team had anything tangible to play for, but it was clear from the first whistle the players were not yet on the beach.

Chey Dunkley, Whing's central defensive partner, had the first chance of a competitive opening 45 minutes, nodding Danny Rose's free-kick just over.

Roofe looked in the mood from the word go and twice early on his pace and trickery opened up Newport.

His first run saw Alex MacDonald head weakly at goalkeeper Jamie Stephens, while the next chance saw his cutback just evade Danny Hylton in the box.

Newport looked most threatening on the break and United were thankful Dunkley was alert to snuff out a chance for Yan Klukowski.

The resulting corner fell to Miles Storey, who should have done better than dragging a shot well wide.

The game continued to rattle along at a fair pace, with the teams taking turns to launch attacks.

Midway through the half terrific work from Josh Ruffels saw him rob Aaron O'Connor to give gUnited a three-versus-two attack, but when Danny Hylton was played in his shot was well blocked by a scrambling Lee Minshull.

On the half hour mark Jamie Ashdown was exerted for the first time, tipping over an effort from Storey.

United cleared the corner and pounced forward. Rose played in Roofe down the inside right channel, where he looked certain to cross for Hylton.

Instead, from the angle of the penalty area the West Brom loanee unleashed a stunning shot into the top corner past a gobsmacked Stephens.

It all came in front of a delirious away end, where fans decked out in retro shirts celebrated alongside an Oompa Loompa, a Star Wars stormtrooper and a giant banana.

United's lead was only seriously threatened once before the break, when Dunkley cleared Kevin Feely's header off the line at a corner.

Newport were well in the game, but as it ticked into stoppage time tempers flared.

The hosts disputed a free-kick won by Hylton, which was quickly-taken.

Newport were momentarily disorganised and Flynn went in late on Michael Collins.

The midfielder had already been booked, but he then moved his head into Collins', leaving the referee no option but to brandish a straight red card.

United sought to make good use of the extra man when the second half began.

They knocked the ball around with confidence and made Newport's ten men chase.

It worked for a while, but despite several moves which almost got the front two away, Stephens went untested, aside from a Rose shot which he gathered at the second attempt.

Newport gradually forced their way back into the game and Ashdown was needed to make a smart save to keep out another header from Feely.

The U's needed something to restore their grip on the game.

Almost immediately a shot from Roofe was blocked into Hylton's path, but Stephens raced off his line to smother the chance.

Appleton turned to his bench to make changes and Sam Humphreys came on to make his senior debut in the closing stages.

The winger had little chance to show his attacking prowess, as Newport piled the pressure on.

Stephens spent the final minute up in the United penalty area, but the visitors held out to claim all three points.

Newport Co: Stephens, Poole, Minshull, Feely, Jackson, Flynn, Byrne, Tutonda, Klukowski, O'Connor, Storey (Willmott 51).

Subs not used: Day, Sandell, Jeffers, Patten, Parker, Collins.

Oxford Utd: Ashdown, Long (Humphreys 85), Whing, Dunkley, Skarz, MacDonald, Collins (Hoban 70), Ruffels, Rose, Hylton (O'Dowda 90), Roofe.

Subs not used: Crocombe, Ashby, Roberts, Hawtin.

Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire).

Attendance: 4,295 (732 visitors).