Caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley praised his ‘outstanding’ Oxford United players after dramatic late goals from debutant Todd Kane and Ryan Ledson fired the U’s to an excellent win at Charlton Athletic.
The managerless side put on quite a show as they gallantly fought back from a goal down on two occasions to snatch all three points at the death.
Following a goalless first half the home side took the lead when Ahmed Kashi capitalised on John Mousinho’s error just after the hour.
James Henry equalised but United appeared to have thrown it away just two minutes later when Northern Ireland international Josh Magennis put the Addicts in front again.
Kane, on loan from Chelsea, produced an accomplished finish to equalise in the 89th minute and, five minutes later, Ledson grabbed the winner with a stunning side-footed effort from 18 yards.
The thrilling win sent nearly 1,400 United fans – and Fazackerley – into pure jubilation.
“I’m obviously pleased with the result and the performance,” Fazackerley said. “I said before the game to the players that irrespective of the result what we first and foremost needed was a performance – and I thought the performance throughout was outstanding in many aspects.
“The fact we got a result out of it as well rewarded them for their persistence, the never say die attitude and the ability, focus and concentration that they put into the game.”
It was a difficult first game for the temporary boss who lost striker Wes Thomas in the warm up and his replacement, Jon Obika, limped off in the first half.
And at the other end, the usual defensive failings persisted.
He added: “Being a defender myself it is absolutely frustrating that we’ve again leaked a couple of goals which has given us a problem that we shouldn’t have had.
“But, in saying that, I thought the honesty, endeavour, humility and integrity of the players got them back into the game and it was really pleasing to see.”
The U’s, up two positions to 10th in League One, host Bristol Rovers on Saturday in Fazackerley’s first game in charge at the Kassam.