PEP Clotet pointed to a game-changing 60 seconds as the key to Oxford United’s 3-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon.

Goals from Wes Thomas, Ricardinho and Xemi ensured the U’s built on their impressive showing at Peterborough United a week earlier in Sky Bet League One.

But with the home side 1-0 up, goalkeeper Simon Eastwood pulled off a stunning one-handed save to deny Cody McDonald just after the break.

The resulting corner was cleared and moments later United broke and doubled their lead, with Ricardinho firing low into the bottom corner.

It proved a crucial turning-point and knocked the stuffing out of Wimbledon.

U’s boss Clotet said: “It (McDonald’s chance) would have seen it go back to a draw.

“They only had five shots on goal, but only one on target, and the fact your keeper saves it, that says a lot.

“That means the focus of the players was there.

“And the fact we turned that ball into an immediate counter-attack and scored the second goal, I think it killed the game a little bit.”

Clotet added: “It is not easy to play Wimbledon.

“They are a team that defend very well and make things very difficult.

“There were a lot of difficulties we had to overcome to dominate the game and I think we did it.

“The players did the job right and when we had to defend we did it with purpose.”

Thomas’s 12th-minute opener was the first time United had scored before the break at home this season.

And Clotet was delighted to put Wimbledon on the back foot early on.

He said: “We have the feeling that every time we start strong and we score in the first half, we normally find it a little bit better to play our football.”

Meanwhile, Clotet revealed Gino van Kessel will go on international duty with Curacao, despite limping off with a heel injury just 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute.