OXFORD United booked a place at Wembley with a hard-fought play-off semi-final victory over Peterborough United.

The U’s took a 1-0 lead to London Road, and saw that pegged back four minutes before half-time in the second leg, when Josh Knight stabbed home at the back post from a Harrison Burrows free kick.

Cameron Brannagan restored United’s advantage with a coolly converted penalty in first half stoppage time, before the U’s then dug deep and survived a second half onslaught from the Posh.

Read our match report here

We had a look at some of the key talking points from the game.

Defensive solidity (and gamesmanship too)

The second half was characterised by regular Peterborough attacks and crosses into United’s penalty area.

There was some brilliant defending, including a brave Ciaron Brown header and a fantastic goal line clearance from Sam Long, while the U’s also enjoyed a slice of luck at times.

As the clock slowly ticked down, crosses were getting fired in, and Posh players were sometimes marginally close to making contact.

In addition to the exceptional defensive shape and organisation that United kept, there was also a little bit of gamesmanship in the U’s performance.

Players hit the deck and broke up play, therefore stifling any rhythm or momentum that Peterborough were building. It frustrated the home crowd and added to the tension around London Road.

There’s absolutely nothing illegal about what United did, and goalkeeper Jamie Cumming said himself that it’s exactly what the Posh would’ve done if the shoe was on the other foot.

The U’s haven’t always shown that level of grittiness though this season, and it was pleasing to see it on display in such a huge game.

Oxford Mail:

Super Jamie Cumming in goal

That chant rang out from the away support after a couple of exceptional stops from the Chelsea loanee.

The first came when he thwarted Knight’s deflected effort in the opening 45 minutes, but it was an incredible save in second half stoppage time, to deny a Knight header, which had everyone stunned.

It looked like Knight had forced extra time, but Cumming flung himself across his goal and produced a fabulous stop.

It hasn’t always been easy for the 24-year-old since he arrived on loan in January, but the two play-off games so far have seen him at his best.

Whether it’s a confidence thing, or he comes alive for the big moments, he’s certainly saved his best performances for when it matters.

Penalty calls

There was very little Posh argument against referee Andrew Kitchen’s decision to award United the spot kick converted by Brannagan, as Burrows was penalised for handball.

The call which irked Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson though, was when his side weren’t given a penalty of their own early in the second half.

Whether Ferguson had seen a replay before his post-match interview is unknown, but from the angles I’ve seen, there was no handball from Joe Bennett. It was closer to his face, if anything.

Midfield switch

U’s head coach Des Buckingham was forced into an early change when Tyler Goodrham picked up what looked like a foot problem, and was replaced by Marcus McGuane just after the half hour mark.

Losing Goodrham was a blow, and it might’ve been a surprise to see McGuane come on ahead of Josh McEachran or Billy Bodin, in light of his limited involvement in recent weeks.

The idea seemed to be though that McGuane might have the better engine, particularly if the game went into extra time.

Since the 5-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers, McGuane has seen his minutes dry up, but against the Posh, he was full of running and provided United a physical presence in the middle of the park.