OXFORD United produced their best performance of the season – but it was still not enough to get off the mark in Sky Bet League One.

Billy Kee’s second-half brace saw Accrington Stanley come from behind to win and inflict a fourth straight defeat at the start of the season for Karl Robinson’s men.

It was tough on a U’s side who had played with much more attacking invention, scoring high-quality goals through Gavin Whyte and Marcus Browne.

But defensive deficiencies remain and while there was real quality about Stanley's first equaliser, from Ross Sykes, mistakes allowed Kee to profit.

It took United’s goals conceded to 13 already in four games – and even if the front line is beginning to fire they will struggle until the other end of the pitch is shored up.

After three successive league defeats, Robinson swung the axe in his selection.

Luke Garbutt, Rob Dickie and Tony McMahon came out of a back four which had conceded ten goals, while further forward Shandon Baptiste, Jamie Mackie and Sam Smith made way.

United needed to set the tone and less than two minutes were on the clock when Cameron Norman broke into the box and crossed for Jon Obika to shoot over.

The hosts were working hard out of possession and blocks from Whyte and Obika early on brought roars from stands.

On the ball the performance level was also raised. Jamie Hanson was far more assertive than he had been on his debut at Fratton Park on Saturday, while Browne was a handful on the left flank.

Stanley’s threat largely came from set pieces and midway through the half a short corner led to Callum Johnson crossing for Sykes to steer just wide of the far post.

That would have been against the run of play – and United got the goal their enterprising football merited in the 27th minute.

John Mousinho and Henry combined to give Whyte a chance to run at Mark Hughes and the winger was too quick for the defender, before rifling a powerful strike from just inside the box which flashed past Connor Ripley at his near post.

The Northern Irishman came agonisingly close to a second goal on the night 11 minutes later.

This time he cut inside on to his left foot, but Ripley appeared to just get fingertips on the low strike and turn it on to the near post.

United looked well set, only to concede three minutes before the break.

Jordan Clark bought a soft free-kick wide on the right and Henry could only turn Sean McConville’s delivery to the back post, where Sykes conjured an extraordinary finish on the turn to send the ball looping over Jonathan Mitchell and into the net.

It was a body blow out of the blue for a United side low on confidence, but the half-time interval gave them a chance to regroup.

But Stanley had the first chance of the second half. Curtis Nelson was caught out of position and Sam Finley was played through on goal, but Mitchell stood up well to parry.

It was a big moment, as just before the hour United retook the lead.

Johnson went down easily on the halfway line and when the referee waved play on, Browne charged forward into the vacant space, before curling a terrific shot into the top corner.

United again looked set to cut loose, only for Stanley to quickly get back on level terms.

There appeared little danger from a chipped ball into the box, but neither Josh Ruffels or John Mousinho cleared it and instead it dropped for Kee to lash in from ten yards.

The game opened up and while United did most of the pressing, the clearer chances came Stanley’s way.

Substitute Offrande Zanzala hit the side netting from an acute angle after rounding Mitchell, but 11 minutes from time United were not so lucky.

Clark found space on the right and when he got into the box a backtracking Ruffels brought him down.

Kee rammed in the penalty to put the visitors in front for the first time.

United had time to recover, but in a frantic finale never forced a quality chance to salvage a point.

Oxford Utd (4-2-3-1): Mitchell, Norman, Nelson, Mousinho, Ruffels, Brannagan (Mackie 87), Hanson, Whyte, Henry (Smith 76), Browne, Obika.

Unused subs: Shearer, Garbutt, McMahon, Dickie, Baptiste.

Booked: Brannagan, Browne, Norman.

Accrington Stanley (4-4-1-1): Ripley, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Richards-Everton (Anderton 56), Clark, Brown (Zanzala 53), Conneely, McConville, Finley, Kee.

Unused subs: Maxted, Nolan, Mingoia, Mangan, Platt.

Booked: Brown, Clark, Sykes.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

Attendance: 5,748 (118 visitors).