ELLIOTT Moore rued a missed opportunity as Oxford United’s hopes of a trip to Wembley were dashed by Tranmere Rovers.

The U’s were beaten 2-0 by their Sky Bet League Two opponents in the Papa John’s Trophy semi-final at the Kassam Stadium.

United struggled to get out of first gear throughout the 90 minutes, as a disjointed display was encapsulated by Matty Taylor’s wild miss from the penalty spot shortly after half-time.

Read the match report here

But U’s captain Moore felt the damage was done beforehand, with their slow start allowing Kaiyne Woolery to give Tranmere the lead before the break.

“It’s a very tough one,” the centre back said.

“This was a massive chance for us to get to Wembley again and win a trophy.

“We didn’t turn up first half, we’ve only got ourselves to blame and we got punished for it.”

Kieran Morris made it 2-0 only after Taylor blazed over from the spot and hit the woodwork twice in the second half, but Tranmere were the better side for much of the contest.

The last-four tie began less than 48 hours after the final whistle blew on United’s Sky Bet League One win over Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

Moore did not feel tiredness was a factor in their display, with head coach Karl Robinson making seven changes to his starting line-up.

“I felt fine, we have no excuses,” the skipper said.

“It doesn’t matter whether we’re here every day or not, we’ve got to turn up and play and that was a poor performance.

“I think everyone will hold their hands up and say they had a poor game.

“We’ve just got to learn from it and move on.”

Karl Robinson: Certain players let themselves down against Tranmere

Robinson gave Blackburn Rovers loanee Joe Grayson his first U’s start, with the defender joining Moore at centre back.

The 21-year-old endured a difficult evening before being replaced at the break by Rob Atkinson, who won the penalty four minutes after the restart.

United improved after half-time, but Moore insisted each player was collectively responsible for the defeat.

He said: “It was a tough night for all of us – no-one stood out individually.

“We came out in the second half and put them under a lot of pressure.

“Unfortunately for us, the ball didn’t go in the net.

“If it did it might have been a different story.”