KARL Robinson felt Oxford United lacked a cutting edge at both ends of the pitch as a heavy defeat to Blackpool left their promotion hopes hanging by a thread.

The U's were beaten 3-0 in their Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final first leg at the Kassam Stadium, leaving the Tangerines overwhelming favourites to reach the Wembley final.

Hamstring injuries to Sam Winnall and Cameron Brannagan were a further blow and United expect to find out the severity tomorrow.

Read the match report here

Roared on by their first home crowd since December, United started on the front foot but their opponents stayed tight and took their chances.

Ollie Turton and Ellis Simms struck in the space of four minutes midway through the half to put the visitors in control, with the latter adding another on the break in the second period.

It was a clinical finish and Robinson felt his side lacked that ruthlessness when it mattered.

The U's head coach said: “I think there was nothing in the game, except for that three-and-a-half minute spell in the first half.

"That’s very unlike us, the emotion of that moment got us a little bit edgy.

"I thought we were by far the better team from the second goal and then they score on the counter-attack.

"You’re talking a 25-second lapse in concentration, it could be 2-1 or 3-0.”

United struggled to recreate sustained pressure after the opening ten minutes, but the first talking point came inside 180 seconds.

Mark Sykes was through on goal when he was tripped by Blackpool's James Husband 25 yards out, with the defender booked by referee Robert Madley.

There was another Blackpool man covering, but Robinson was adamant it should have been a red card.

He said: “He’s got to be sent off, it’s blatant.

"He’s ahead of the last man and if Syksey touches that ball he’s in on goal.

"I thought Bobby refereed the game well, but that’s a key decision they got wrong."

The defeat was especially tough to take with 3,224 fans in the ground, the highest home attendance to watch United since last February.

He said: “It was the hardest walk around the football pitch I’ve ever had to do, I was biting my tongue while I was clapping.

"The fans deserved that because they’ve been away, I don’t think they deserve the result."