OXFORD United finally found their form from 12 yards as they avenged two spot-kick defeats to beat Southend United in the Checkatrade Trophy at Roots Hall last night.

The U’s had lost on penalties in the group stage against Swindon Town and Chelsea, the latter over 34 efforts in the longest shoot-out in English football.

But Chris Maguire, Kane Hemmings, Phil Edwards and Tyler Roberts found the net to beat the Shrimpers 4-3 after the game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.

U’s boss Michael Appleton was thrilled to come out on top and get into tomorrow’s draw for the third round, to be played in the week commencing January 9.

He said: “I think it’s about time we won and the players are delighted, although I’m probably more delighted with the way the penalties went.

“It was a close affair. They had periods in the game and, with how directly they get the ball forward, it make it difficult.

“I thought we had really good spells as well and it could have gone either way. It was a good cup tie in the end.

“This competition was great for us last year getting to Wembley (losing 3-2 to Barnsley in the final) and we’re down to the last 16, so who knows. It’s a great opportunity for everybody.”

United looked to be heading through without the need for a shoot-out, thanks to Maguire’s brilliant 30-yard free-kick on 81 minutes.

It was a worthy advantage for the visitors, who had been the better side since half-time.

Anthony Wordsworth bundled in from close range to level the scores, but United scooped the £20,000 prize money for progressing.

Appleton had the penalty-takers organised before the game began, so the responsibility fell on Roberts to take advantage after Stephen McLaughlin fired over.

The 17-year-old had scored for West Brom’s under-23s from 12 yards earlier this season, but the forward was ecstatic to come through the nerve-racking moment and send United through.

He said: “I was just the lucky one to take the last penalty.

“I was just concentrating on hitting the ball cleanly.

“I like to wait for the goalkeeper to make a move and then go the other way.

“There was pressure standing there watching and when it came to me I definitely felt it.

“It was a different experience.”