KARL Robinson felt Shrewsbury Town tested Oxford United more than the 4-1 scoreline suggested.

Rob Atkinson and Elliot Lee put the U's 2-0 up at half-time at the Kassam Stadium, with Harry Chapman pulling a goal back six minutes after the restart.

That filled Shrewsbury with belief and they looked capable of getting back into the game, until Matty Taylor gave United breathing space midway through the second period and Sam Long added a late fourth.

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The result left the U's seventh and the Shropshire side 18th in Sky Bet League One, but Robinson thought the evening was far from straightforward.

The U's head coach said: “It (the scoreline) flattered us to an extent.

"They’re a good team, for the first 15 minutes of both halves they were probably better than us and we rode the storm.

"I thought from the 15th minute to the 45th minute it was our most complete performance of the season, in every aspect.

"That period is the best I think I’ve seen all season."

The only negatives of the evening were an early injury to Brandon Barker, which is not thought to be serious, and a couple of flashpoints in the second half.

Shrewsbury captain Ollie Norburn and Cameron Brannagan were booked for a clash 17 minutes from time, before the visiting skipper escaped another yellow card for a late challenge on Mark Sykes.

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The Irishman fell to the floor in a heap, but Robinson felt referee Sam Purkiss made the right decision.

He said: “I’ve liked him (Norburn) for a long time and it wasn’t a booking.

"He has caught him, but if you’re going to book people for that we’re going to have people sent off week-in, week-out.

"Sykesy thought it was worse than what it was, but he didn’t see it.

"I did and I think it’s important you conduct yourself at 4-1 with a little bit of honesty.

"If it was 0-0 we would seek to gain an advantage, but at that particular time it’s about calming yourself."

The U's boss also pointed to the work done by the ground staff at Grenoble Road to ensure the pitch suited his side's possession-based approach.

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Robinson said: "For the Accrington game (a 2-1 defeat) it was dry and slow.

"The pitch was reduced in its grass size from 26 to 22ml (for Shrewsbury).

"It’s something we speak about consistently with the ground staff and we’re at the time of year when the grass growth allows you to do that.

"We heavily watered it for a few minutes before we came out and very heavily at half-time.

"When this pitch is quick and even, we're good.

"We’ve got to keep this pitch as fast as we can for the rest of the season.”