JIM Smith described last night's humbling at Histon as one of the club's most disappointing performances ever.

In front of the Setanta TV cameras, the U's gave a dismal second-half showing as they crashed 1-0 in the Blue Square Premier.

It was the team's second successive defeat and increases the pressure on Smith, who knows that if Oxford United don't win promotion back to the Football League this season, they will be viewed as just another non-League club.

Histon, a club many United supporters had never heard of before this year, won with a deflected 28th-minute goal from Antonio Murray.

But Oxford's second-half response was almost non-existent, and Smith knows he faces a major battle to restore morale as heads clearly dropped.

He said: "That was the most disappointing performance we've had at Oxford for a long, long time.

"Histon stuck to their task well, but they didn't cause us problems, we caused ourselves problems."

And the Oxford boss, who looked very glum, admitted that he didn't blame the visiting fans, many of whom were very fed up as they headed back home through the Cambridgeshire countryside.

"I don't blame the fans if they were disgruntled," he said. "If I'd paid to come in and watch that, I'd be pretty disgruntled as well.

"I haven't been as disappointed as this for a long time.

"If you looked at the stats, on possession and everything, we'd have been well in front.

"But we didn't have the desire or determination to turn that possession into success."

The U's boss conceded there was no point in throwing tea-cups or blasting the players in the dressing room afterwards.

"There was no shouting, but we let them know that they had let themselves down," he said.

"It's ironic. We had a training session the other day that was the best I've seen since I've been at Oxford, and we were hoping that they were going to take that out here.

"That's the most disappointing thing for me, that they can't take what they do on the training pitch out into a match when there's a crowd watching."