KARL Robinson insisted Oxford United's history with Gillingham did not make their dramatic victory any sweeter.

The visitors' game-plan worked to perfection for 72 minutes, as their robust style, game management and threat from set-pieces helped them take a 2-0 lead.

Gillingham looked set to do the double over the U's having won 3-1 at Priestfield in October despite their opponents dominating, on a day when Robinson's side were forced to change in the family stand concourse due to a 'spike in Covid cases' at the time.

United made Steve Evans' men use one of the South Stand lounges rather than the Kassam Stadium's away dressing room, but until Sam Winnall pulled a goal back it looked like the away team would take the points.

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Sam Long's late double secured the win in dramatic fashion and Robinson preferred to focus on the U's, rather than his opposite number.

Asked why Gillingham did not use the away dressing room, the United head coach said: “I didn’t want them to.

"I believe there’s a slight rise in Covid in Kent, so it works both ways.

“It’s nothing to do with me and Steve.

"We’re both very passionate people and have a desire to win, whether we do it in the way that people believe is correct or not.

"He has built a team at Gillingham that’s different to any team we thought they would be this year."

The hosts had barely threatened until Winnall's goal, which came 16 minutes from time and just 120 seconds after former U's defender Robbie Cundy made it 2-0.

Robinson had just switched to a 4-1-2-1-2 system, with Dan Agyei just behind fellow substitute Winnall and Matty Taylor up front.

The U's boss revealed his side had little time to prepare in that shape, but it produced stunning results.

Read the match report here

He said: "We worked on a diamond for only ten minutes on Friday and we felt it was the best way to keep a number of people on different lines.

"We felt that the two strikers would get out the way and Dan can outmuscle anybody in the middle of the pitch.

"But we also felt like if our wide players come inside it would open up a channel for the likes of Dan to run in. It also gets our full-backs high up the pitch.”

He added: “I think the longer the game went on we showed tremendous patience.

"We didn’t rush, in the Accrington game we tried to score really quickly and you get back on level terms and fall off it.

"We knew there was a big amount of time left on the clock and that was our message to the players: calm.

"Keep doing the right things and it’ll fall for you."