THREE straight away wins, three straight away clean sheets and now three points off the top – Oxford United are hot stuff on their travels at present.

And Saturday was certainly just that. Hot.

In sweltering conditions Rob Hall bagged the only goal as the U’s climbed to sixth in the League Two table with a professional display at Edgar Street to defeat the Bulls.

Once again the margin of victory could have been greater, but the important thing was the three points – because come the end of the season, it is the points column people look at, not the goal difference column.

Both of Hall’s goals have given United 1-0 victories on their travels, and both have had a touch of class about them.

Having scored on his debut at Dagenham, at Hereford, the tiny on-loan West Ham striker even managed to net with his head.

Left back Liam Davis collected a pass from Peter Leven and with seemingly nothing on, showed a great change of gear to fly past three defenders.

His inch-perfect cross was met by Hall, who had himself made a terrific near-post run, and his header hit the back of the net.

To be honest, it was probably the first time United found top gear in the match, but after the goal Chris Wilder’s side controlled the game, although could not get the second goal they deserved.

As expected, skipper Jake Wright came in for Andy Whing in Oxford’s only change from last week’s home draw with Accrington.

United should have taken the lead inside three minutes when James Constable was left unmarked from a Paul McLaren corner, but headed wide when he should have scored.

United goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, who made three fine saves last week, was then forced to dive full-stretch to keep out Sam Winnall’s 12th-minute effort.

The next 20 minutes were easily forgettable as both sides failed to retain the ball, and it took the moment of magic from Davis and Hall to really settle Oxford.

The hosts, by contrast, resorted to lumping long balls towards Delroy Facey as they struggled to get a grip on the game.

After the break, Oxf-ord were on top, but were again let down by their finished.

With Hereford playing a high line, United’s front three struggled to time runs in behind the defence.

But when they did, they were twice guilty of missing glorious chances.

Firstly Constable broke free, but seemingly in two minds between going for goal and squaring for Alfie Potter, United’s leading scorer saw the attack come to nothing.

But when the speedy Potter burst through in the 66th-minute, there was no excuses.

A long Wright pass saw the Hereford defence stop with Hall and Constable offside, but Potter timed his run superbly.

With just keeper Dave Cornell to beat, Potter hit his shot well, but put it wide of the upright.

From an Oxford corner, Hereford then broke and had four attackers against two Oxford defenders.

But McLaren, who had belied his age to beat several other U’s players back, did superbly to cut out a pass and clear the danger.

The lively Hall saw one shot saved, another blocked and Leven also fired wide from the edge of the box.

Hereford threw on extra strikers and resorted more than ever to a long ball game, but Michael Duberry and Wright defended strongly.

Despite conceding several silly free-kicks late on, a commanding display from Clarke, who on several occasions came out to collect the high deliveries, ensured that the 930 Oxford fans who had made the trip went home happy.

United’s away support have had plenty to cheer of late – long may it continue.