Oxford United's new centre forward Ricky Sappleton scored one and made one as Chris Wilder's men avenged their Boxing Day defeat in a scrappy and tempestuous New Year's Day derby at the Kassam Stadium.

In a match that saw nine bookings, five of them to Salisbury, James Constable got the vital breakthrough 20 minutes from time, scoring for the fourth home match in a row.

Sappleton, who had come off the bench nine minutes earlier, provided the pass which set Constable clear on the left.

And the on-loan Shresbury striker calmly rounded gaolkeeper James Bittner and fired home left-footed for his 12th Oxford goal of the season.

Sappleton's impact did not end there, though.

From the big man's superb early pass from the right, Lewis Haldane had what appeared an open goal, but was off balance as he met it, and couldn't turn it in.

Sappleton then had a drive well saved and, as the U's pressed hard late in the game, Haldane missed a second open goal.

This time, the home side had three bearing down on goal with just Bittner to beat. Haldane could have squared it, but went it alone and chipped over Bitnner, but wide of the right-hand post.

But Sappleton had the last laugh, running on to Paul Evans's pass and finishing impressively with a low shot past the keeper.

Wilder made just one enforced change following the 5-1 win over Ebbsfleet.

With Yemi Odubade injured, fit-again Jamie Guy returned up front for his final game after Colchester announced they wanted to recall him from his month's loan at Oxford.

New loan signing Ricky Sappleton, a 19-year-old striker from Leicester who has been signed initially on a month's loan, was on the bench.

There was a good-sized crowd in the ground, but it soon became obviuous that those hoping for a repeat of the goals from last Sunday would be disappointed.

The first 20 minutes was very scrappy, with little happening in either goalmouth.

The Whites were much more competitive than Fleet had been, closing down space whenever they could, and for the U's, James Constable was several times caught offside which further disrupted the hopes of developing any rhythm.

Salisbury left back Luke Ruddick, the player whose late challenge had broken Sam Deering's leg six days earlier, was roundly booed every time he touched the ball.

When the visitors briefly threatened, Matt Day stuck his foot in for a vital challenge.

It took 30 minutes for United to seriously threaten the Salisbury goal. Lewis Haldane broke clear on the right edge of the box, and his cross deflected over keeper James Bittner, forcing Tim Bond to head off the line.

The home side wasted a great opportunity to open the scoring when James Clarke made a great overlapping run on the right. Guy went too early and was clearly offside when he met Clarke's run and knocked the ball into the net, though Constable protested against the decision and was booked for dissent.

Emotions were running high after the terrible injury to Deering, and when a similarly bad late challenge came in on Adam Murray, by Salisbury midfielder Ian Herring, the touchpaper was lit.

Foster angrily pushed one of Herring's teammates in the chest, and the ref called him over to book him.

Surprisingly, though, he also produced only a yellow card to Herring - to the home fans' fury.

Chris Willmott went close with a header at a corner at the end of what had been a pretty dull half.

Guy directed a shot just wide of the far post in the opening minutes of the second half after Constable chested it back to him.

Sappleton's entrance and Constable's breakthrough goal changed the whole complexion of the match, and it was nearly all one-way traffic after that.

Two minutes from the end, Guy was taken off and he went off to a big ovation, both he and the Oxford fans knowing that this was his final game at the Kassam Stadium as he soon heads back to Colchester.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Clarke, Willmott. Foster, Day, Haldane (Evans 81), Murray, Hutchinson, Trainer (Sappleton 61), Constable, Guy (Taylor 88). Subs not used: Hinchliffe, Fisher.

Booked: Constable, Foster.

Att: 5,312 (235 from Salisbury).