JON Obika relished being Oxford United’s main man for the first time as his header settled a drab contest with Blackpool.

The striker secured a 1-0 victory at a freezing Kassam Stadium by heading home an 80th-minute free-kick from Alex Mowatt, who had been brought off the bench seconds earlier.

It was Obika’s seventh goal of the season, but the previous six had either come in defeats, or big wins.

And the 27-year-old enjoyed being the one to make the difference.

He said: “As strikers we always want to get that telling goal, because we know how important it is for the momentum.

“It came at the right time because it’s a game that could have gone either way, but we got the goal and managed to hold on.

“I’m enjoying my football and credit to the team, we’re working very hard and it gives us an opportunity up front to get a lot of chances.”

He added: “Credit to Blackpool. You could see their plan was to get their midfielders in the game as quickly as possible.

“We definitely stopped that and it’s how we got a lot of counter-attacks.”

On an afternoon where United were crying out for quality in the final third, it was delivered by Mowatt.

The Barnsley loanee replaced Jack Payne and the match-winning assist came from his first touch.

A grateful Obika said: “We’re blessed with a lot of people who can deliver great balls.

“With Mowie you know you just have to get in the right positions. I’m glad I got in front of my marker and put it away.

“The pace was on the ball, so a glance was good enough.”

The former Tottenham Hotspur trainee also paid tribute to what happened at the other end of the pitch.

Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood made several good saves to keep Blackpool at bay in a man-of-the-match display.

Obika said: “Even against Bradford, we lost that game but he was in terrific form.

“He’s continued it and that’s how we see him every day in training. To do it on match days is important for us.”