OXFORD United beat Shrewsbury Town by half as many goals as they did Crewe Alexandra, but this victory was twice as impressive.

Whereas Saturday's opponents were poor, last night's visitors did not play badly - United were just better.

Shrewsbury's position in Sky Bet League One - 18th - does not do them justice, with the Shropshire side showing play-off form since Steve Cotterill took over in late November.

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Fresh from a hard-fought point at this weekend's opponents Gillingham, they began confidently and looked to find their two stars, striker Harry Chapman and left wing-back Nathaneal Ogbeta.

If Rob Atkinson had not scored the opener so early we would probably have seen a much tighter contest, but United have rarely given up a lead this season.

The headline statistic was the U's last ten goals coming from ten different players, but the variety of their threat is also pleasing.

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Set-pieces have served United well this season, with Atkinson and Sam Long's strikes against Shrewsbury the product of dangerous deliveries.

The U's midfielders are also getting into goalscoring positions more often, James Henry and Elliot Lee each finding the net in the last two games.

That means it is less costly when Matty Taylor misses a chance, like last night's one-on-one, although he put that behind him by dispatching a far more difficult effort four minutes later.

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It was a crucial goal, as Shrewsbury had once again started the half well and to get back on level terms would not have flattered them.

United have now managed their first back-to-back wins since February - this is important, as that was the last time they had any momentum.

They will need a similar run to their nine-game winning streak to reach the play-offs, but that suddenly looks slightly more achievable.