DES Buckingham expressed his frustration at an offside decision not being given in the lead-up to Oxford United conceding a late equaliser against Northampton Town.

Will Goodwin nudged the U’s 2-1 in front with nine minutes to go, however the Cobblers fought back and levelled matters two minutes into stoppage time.

Buckingham though rued an offside call not being awarded against Will Hondermarck, who was tussling for position with Stephan Negru, and would then lay the ball on to Sam Hoskins.

The Cobblers substitute then claimed the assist for a low cross to Tony Springett on the penalty spot, with the Norwich City loanee able to beat Ciaron Brown and find the corner via a slight deflection.

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United head coach Buckingham said: “I’ve watched it back on the replay. He [Hondermarck] interferes with the eyeline of Stephan, but Stephan has to run round him, as the only other choice is to run through him, which then affects his ability to attack the ball.

“He has to run round him, which gives the advantage to the forward [Hoskins] that was arriving from the blind side of him.

“For me, it should be offside, but it wasn’t given the same way the penalty at Wycombe wasn’t given last week.

“That’s the way it is. There are two or three phases after that, that we should do better, to make sure the ball doesn’t end up where it did.

“It’s a learning, and you have to continue managing that game through to what was 98 minutes.”

The Cobblers move could be traced further back though when Sam Long played a ball back from inside the opposition half, to Jamie Cumming in the U’s goal.

Buckingham said his team is not instructed to play backwards, but there is a time and a place for doing so.

He said: “We don’t want to be a team that plays back all of the time, but you’ve got to recognise if you can’t play forward, the choice is you play long and hope you get something out of it.

“If the movement isn’t right in front of you, then you end up forcing things that come back at you anyway, or you try and recycle, and drag them out, to open up space either behind, or if you’re quick enough to shift them, in between.

“There should always be a purpose in going back. It’s not something we instruct them to do, unless they need to.

“If we do go back, there should be a rationale and a reason as to why we’ve done that. Then it’s making sure once we’ve gone back, we step into the next phase and take advantage of the reason we’ve done that.”