Oxford Utd 1 (Leven 82), Cheltenham 3 (Jombati 8, Spencer 57, Mohamed 86) Oxford United's woes continue as they fell to their fifth straight defeat - and their first at home this season in the league - with a reverse at the hands of Cheltenham today.

And to compound their problems, left back Liam Davis was sent off for two bookings in the space of six minutes at the start of the second period.

Trailing 2-0, Peter Leven gave United hope with another sensational long-range strike - this time from a free-kick - but Kaid Mohamed's deflected free-kick four minutes from time ended all hopes of a recovery.

The U's fell behind in the eighth minute to a poor goal.

Paul McLaren's misplaced header gave possession away and he was made to pay when Jombati cut in from the right and hit a left-footed effort that curled over the head of Clarke and into the back of the net.

Cheltenham were the better team in the opening period and Oxford can consider them slightly fortunate to go into the break just one goal behind.

However, Davis was harsly booked for a foul on Darryl Duffy three minutes into the second half, and when he went in late on Jombati in the 51st, was sent off.

And the visitors took full advantage, soon doubling their lead.

Duffy skipped past Andy Whing in the area and his shot looked to be heading for goal, only for U's captain Jake Wright to stick out a leg and deflect behind.

But from the corner, Luke Summerfield shot across goal and James Spencer diverted the ball past Clarke.

It left Oxford with a mountain to climb, but spurred on by a vociferous crowd, who had become increasingly disillusioned with the inconsistent decisions from referee Jon Moss, they had a go.

Rob Hall became lively, and when he picked the ball up 30 yards out, Butland had to be at his best to tip over his rasping drive.

James Constable also went close, while Harry Worley's header was hooked off the line by Summerfield.

When Constable was fouled by Steve Elliott fully 30 yards from goal, Leven curled in another outstanding free-kick from distance.

It was all set up a grandstand finish, but when Whing was penalised for a foul on Spencer 25 yards out, Mohamed's effort took a wicked deflection off the wall, wrong-footing Clarke.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Batt, Whing, Wright, Davis, Heslop, McLaren (Smalley 46), Leven, Guy (Worley 55), Constable, R Hall. Subs not used: A Hall, Payne, Franks. Booked: McLaren, Davis. Sent off: Davis.

Cheltenham Tn: Butland, Jombati, Bennett, Elliott, Garbutt, Spencer, Pack, Summerfield, Penn (Smikle 65), Mohamed (Jackson 90), Duffy (Low 73). Subs not used: Lowe, Goulding. Booked: Penn, Pack.

Attendance: 8,037 (766 from Cheltenham).