REACHING 500 appearances came second to a clean sheet and three points for Oxford United, according to skipper John Mousinho.

He reached the landmark in the 1-0 win against Peterborough United almost 14 years on from his debut for Brentford – against the U’s in the LDV Vans Trophy.

The U’s had marked the occasion on Friday by presenting him with a commemorative shirt, but the

33-year-old admitted it would take time to sink in.

He said: “It’s hard when you’re in the moment trying to win a league game, but I think when I take a step back and look at it I think I’ll feel incredibly lucky and humble to be able to do it.

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“My dream was to play one league game. I remember at Brentford getting to play a pre-season game at Dagenham and thinking that could be the pinnacle of my career.

“I didn’t come through an academy and I never expected to play any professional football.

“If you had told me at that stage I’d play 500 I’d have laughed and said I’d have a big party.”

United’s display gave Mousinho plenty to enthuse about.

While all their best football came in a first half where they entertained, the way the home side dug in to protect their lead after the break was also a big plus for the defender.

He said: “We’ve talked about the importance of that first half and how good we were, but it was almost more pleasing that we played like we did in the second half.

“We came under pressure, like we were always going to against a decent side.

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“We stood up to it and there were a couple of long-range shots and goalmouth scrambles, but overall I thought the performance in the two contrasting halves were actually a real positive for us.”