OXFORD United’s failure to make the most of their bright start proved crucial at Doncaster Rovers, admitted Karl Robinson.

The U’s bossed the opening half an hour at the Keepmoat Stadium, only for Jon Taylor to break the deadlock with the hosts’ first chance of note.

While Sam Long equalised to level things up before half-time, they would have been disappointed not to go in ahead.

Debutants Elliot Lee and Brandon Barker looked at home from the kick-off playing either side of Matty Taylor and Robinson felt the U’s were only missing an end product.

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“There was some wonderful play in that first half, I thought Brandon and Elliot showed the quality they’re going to bring,” United's head coach said.

“You’d argue the first 30 minutes was the best we’ve played for a long, long time.

“For me, it was as solid as you get.

“But that one ball and then letting them come inside and get the shot off (for the opening goal) – we had three or four of them, we just didn’t pick the right ball.”

United were similarly dominant in the final half an hour, but Doncaster restricted their opponents to few clear chances.

Darren Moore’s side have the joint-second best defensive record in Sky Bet League One and Robinson was impressed by the hosts’ resilience.

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He said: “That’s the best defending I’ve seen against us all season.

“The two centre backs threw their bodies in the way.

“If we’d done that for their third goal, maybe it would have been a different game.

“But I thought the best team certainly lost.”

While the U’s head coach was pleased with the display, he was concerned by his side conceding three times for the second away game running, after they beat Rochdale 4-3 on January 26.

He said: “We’ve conceded six goals in two away games – there’s an issue.

“You can’t come away from home and concede that many.

“The difference is, you’re playing against a better team, so it’s difficult to score four against Doncaster.”