IN Oxford United’s last two matches, the opposition managers have both said that the U’s are the best team they have faced this season.

But Chris Wilder’s side have picked up just one point out of six.

That can be put down a number of factors – poor finishing, poor defending, bad luck and good play from their opponents. But one thing is certain, United must stop letting teams off the hook.

Against Burton on Saturday, Oxford produced some superb passages of play, especially in the first half.

But having gone 2-0 ahead, they should have seen the game out.

Quite how it took 47 minutes for United to break the deadlock however is a mystery.

When Alfie Potter netted in first-half injury time, the goal was greeted with as much relief as cheer.

Potter latched onto some great link-up play on the edge of the box from Peter Leven and Michael Duberry to fire across goal and into the bottom corner.

But it could have been four or five by then.

Lewis Guy had a great opportunity to fire United ahead in the 12th minute, when he met Potter’s cross eight yards out.

He could have headed for goal, but chose to chest the ball down, which allowed Ross Atkins to race off his line and block the shot.

Potter and James Constable looked dangerous when they ran at the visiting defence, both getting into good positions and fizzing crosses across the face of goal, but there was nobody able to convert them.

Constable had a clear-cut ten yards out following a United free-kick, but lost his footing and his tame effort was easily cleared off the line by Adam Bolder.

The striker then headed onto the roof of the net when Alfie Potter did well to hook a quick Leven throw into the centre of goal.

The U’s were cutting Burton open with ease, but lacked a killer instinct in front of goal.

But by the same token, they were incredibly unlucky not to go ahead through an own goal.

Potter’s dangerous cross was in front of three United players, but when Andy Corbett tried to clear, he smashed the ball against the inside of a post.

As if fortune wasn’t on his side once, it was then for a second time as the ball rebounded right between the trio of United men, none able to turn it in.

Potter made Wilder’s half-time teamtalk easier when getting on the end of a Duberry flick to fire home.

Things got even better seven minutes into the second half when a great ball from Guy was met by Leven’s burst into the box.

If the ball was great, the finish was even better – a sublime dink over Atkins for his first goal for the club.

The game looked Oxford’s for the taking.

But less than 60 seconds later, they handed Burton a lifeline.

Jacques Maghoma got the wrong side of Liam Davis, and although the contact was minimal, the Burton man fell, and the linesman flagged for a penalty, which Justin Richards, who was on loan at Oxford when Darren Patterson was manager, stroked home.

If United’s luck was against them, Burton’s was certainly not when they levelled in the 66th minute.

Jake Wright missed a header from a right-wing corner, the ball ending at Richards, whose shot took a wicked deflection and found the net.

The goal was tough to take, and Wilder was limited in his options of changing personel, having been forced to make two substitutes through injury with Andy Whing and Paul McLaren going off.

Whing felt ill and was replaced by Damian Batt on 24 minutes and McLaren picked up a knock midway through the second period.

With Deane Smalley unable to play any part with toothache, there was only so much the U’s could do.

They regrouped, pushed on, but were almost caught out.

Richards had a great chance for his hat-trick, but shot over and was then denied by Ryan Clarke as Burton counter-attacked.

When Maghoma played in Richards, United’s defence and supporters looked at the linesman.

But the flag stayed down and Clarke had to produce two fine saves.

The first was when Damian Batt tried to intercept, but sent the ball goalwards, the second when Richards picked up the loose ball and drove towards goal.

United looked for a winner, and with five minutes to go they looked certain to pick up the points when a Liam Davis cross found Constable unmarked, six yards out.

But to the amazement of every one of the 8,043 crowd, United’s leading scorer headed way over.

The drinks holder took the brunt of Wilder’s frustration in the U’s technical area.

It was one of those days. Again.