OXFORD United got the thumping win they desperately required as AFC Wimbledon were put to the sword at the Kassam Stadium.

With Sky Bet League One’s top ten not in action, more dropped points would have left Karl Robinson’s men as big outsiders for the play-offs.

Instead, confidence was restored with their biggest win since September, cutting the gap to the top six to five points.

Given the pattern of the game, Wimbledon worked miracles to avoid conceding until the 32nd minute.

Matty Taylor took his fourth big chance of the night, before Nathan Holland doubled the lead.

The West Ham loanee struck again after James Henry had stretched the lead after half-time.

It gave United the luxury of resting players in the closing stages with one eye on Saturday’s trip to Ipswich Town, but Taylor was still able to score again in stoppage-time.

An injury ruled out John Mousinho, while Dan Agyei dropped to the bench as Marcus Browne and Holland were restored to the starting line-up.

Despite a pre-match deluge reminiscent of the Ipswich Town game last month, United looked red hot from the kick-off.

Within 30 seconds Taylor and Holland combined to create a chance for Mark Sykes, who could not keep his header down.

Sykes quickly had a strong penalty claim turned down, but the opportunities kept on coming for a home side who were enjoying themselves.

Browne and Cameron Brannagan, the latter in a deep role, were running the game while teammates ahead of them pulled the Dons all over the place.

The visitors needed two brilliant saves from Joe Day to deny Taylor in the space of five minutes.

After seeing his header tipped over, the U’s striker could not believe the goalkeeper kept out his low shot from ten yards after collecting Henry’s cross.

It looked a question of when, rather than if, United score, but they almost shot themselves in the foot just before the half-hour mark.

Sykes dropped to become the deepest player and his casual pass was cut out by Joe Pigott, who could not get to the ricochet before the alert Simon Eastwood.

The United goalkeeper was probably grateful to have something to do in a half where the ball rarely got within 50 yards of him.

Taylor’s third big chance rapidly arrived, but after running on to Holland’s pass he rounded Day, only to turn down a shot. Too many touches later he looked for a penalty, which did not arrive.

He only had four minutes to stew on the wasted chance.

Finally the breakthrough came when Sykes classily laid off Anthony Forde’s deflected cross for Henry and from his low cross Taylor could not miss inside the six-yard box.

Within two minutes, it was 2-0.

Sykes was again involved, this time with an incisive dribble. Holland then took over and he came up with a quality finish across Day into the far corner from just inside the penalty area.

The only disappointment at the break was United’s lead was only 2-0, but within ten minutes of the restart their advantage had doubled to more accurately reflect their dominance.

Henry’s classy dinked finish over Day matched Browne’s powerful run from inside his own half and measured pass.

Wimbledon defending was suspect, as it was again five minutes later.

Elliott Moore’s firm header caught out a flat-footed Terell Thomas, allowing Holland to steal in and coolly beat Day.

The goalkeeper was beaten again three minutes later when Browne unleashed a thunderbolt from 20 yards which thwacked into the goalkeeper’s right-hand upright.

United's tempo dropped as attention turned to Portman Road, but even so, it took great saves from Day to deny Brannagan and Agyei.

A fifth goal did arrive in stoppage time, Henry crossing for Taylor to smash in a finish to cap off a fantastic night. 

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Eastwood, Forde, Dickie, Moore, Ruffels, Brannagan, Browne (Thorne 65), Sykes (Agyei 71), Henry, Taylor, Holland (Mackie 76).

Unused subs: Stevens, Long, Hanson, Spasov.

Booked: None.

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Day, McLoughlin, O’Neill, Thomas, Bech Sorensen, Pinnock (Appiah 56), Sanders (Wagstaff 56), Hartigan, Guinness-Walker, Lamy, Pigott (Roscrow 87).

Unused subs: Trott, McDonald, Rudoni, Osew.

Booked: Guinness-Walker.

Referee: Sam Purkiss (London).

Attendance: 6,155 (380 visitors).