OXFORD United’s defeat at AFC Wimbledon was not met with the same anger as other setbacks in recent weeks.

There was a general recognition the U’s had performed well at Plough Lane and that if they fall short of the Sky Bet League One play-offs it will not be because of Tuesday’s game, but a season that has veered from one extreme to the other.

Everyone talks about the slow start and that is key, as the U’s have needed automatic promotion form since December to challenge for the top six.

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But United’s league results over the season also reveal a remarkable pattern.

The U’s have gone on three long runs without drawing: the first 11 games, another ten in the middle of the campaign and the last 12 matches.

In between those, there were identical five-game blocks of four draws and one defeat.

That is not a problem if you take three points more often than none, but that was only the case during United’s record-breaking winning streak, when they claimed seven successive league victories.

Yes, the U’s have won some games they should have drawn, but picking up the odd point during those draw-less runs could have given them a little more breathing space during the run-in.