BILLY Turley marked signing a two-year extension to his contract at Oxford with a bad error as United lost their sixth away game in succession.

The U's keeper made an error of judgment in coming to the edge of his area to try to deal with a free-kick from Jonathan Bass after 30 minutes, and Salisbury's inexperienced centre half Ollie Barnes headed into an empty goal.

Darren Patterson's team were in this Blue Square Premier game until then, but never recovered, and conceded a second just before the break.

They also had six players booked, some of them very harshly it has to be said.

But it was another bad away day for an Oxford side, whose season just doesn't ever seem to get any better.

And when they appeared to be in with a shout of pulling the game out of the fire at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium, when Yemi Odubade netted on 77 minutes, they then conceded a third goal less than two minutes later.

The Raymond McEnhill Stadium is a ground literally in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by fields on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

There was no denying the progrsss Salisbury City have made, though, the enormous number of advertising hoardings around the ground bearing testiony to that.

The main change in United's starting line-up was the inclusion of skipper Barry Quinn in midfield, and with Craig McAlllister sidelined for around three weeks with his hamstring injury, it was a return to the front-two partnership of Rob Duffy and Odubade.

Carl Pettefer, selected again on the right of midfield, got in a low left-footed shot in the fourth-minute which bobbled just post the right post.

A more testing shot came a couple of minutes later from Whites captain Michael Fowler, who hit a 20-yard drive very sweetly, but straight at Turley.

United, playing in their all-blue away strip, had a big let-off in the 20th minute when Salisbury's leading scorer, Matthew Tubbs, missed an open goal.

Darrell Clarke knocked a cross over from the left bye-line and Tubbs had got in front of all the Oxford defenders, but with the goal beckoning, volleyed over the bar from four yards out.

Duffy did well to nod the ball on for Odubade on the edge of City's area, but Odubade got too much on his volley and sent it way over.

Turtley's rash decision in coming for a long ball forward from right back Bass led to Barnes's first goal for the Wiltshire club.

Duffy was penalised, harshly it seemed, for pushing when he fired a header at goal, and new signing Adam Murray then tested goalkeeper Ryan Clarke with a long-range shot, which bobbled along the muddy surface.

Luke Foster produced a brilliantly-timed tackle on Tubbs, when he threatened to burst through on goal.

But in the 44th minute, Salisbury went two up. United failed to clear a free-kick, and Marvin Brown thumped a fierce right-footed shot from 18 yards in off the right-hand post, for his tenth of the season.

Mickey Corcoran, Murray and Duffy were all shown the yellow card before half-time, and for Murray that means a suspension because he arrived at Oxford with four bookings.

Patterson brought on Alex Fisher and Ben Weedon for the second half, in place of Phil Trainer and Alex Jeannin, and it wasn't long into the half that Eddie Hutchinson joined them, with Duffy going off - and Hutchinson went on up front.

The visitors forced a good spell of pressure, with Fisher doing some very neat things, buit the nearest they got to a goal was when Quinn, in a good position, shot well wide from 20 yards.

Right back James Clarke was also booked, midway through the second half, for a last-ditch challenge, and clear foul, on Tubbs.

Turley made an excellent save from Tubbs, coming in at the back post, to prevent it becoming 3-0.

Fisher headed Pettefer's cross over the bar and Quinn went close with a right-footed drive that the keeper pushed around his post.

With 13 minutes to go, Odubade gave United fans hope by pulling a goal back with a fine finish. He skinned Matt Robinson with a run along the right, cut in and shot between the keeper and his near post.

But that hope lasted just a minute and a half.

Salisbury made it 3-1 when a shot by Brown looped up off a defender's foot and over a disbelieving Turley and into the net.

The unlucky Fisher then had a header saved on the goalline at full stretch by keeper Ryan Clarke.

Murray struck the post with an angled free-kick in a frantic finish.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Clarke, Corcoran, Foster, Jeannin (Weedon h-t), Pettefer, Quinn, Murray, Trainer (Fisher h-t), Odubade, Duffy (Hutchinson 53). Subs not used: Warrell, Ledgister.

Att: 2,016 (647 from Oxford).

Booked: Corcoran, Murray, Duffy, Quinn, Clarke, Odubade.