OXFORD United were left hurting after their challenge in the Leasing.com Trophy was ended by a penalty shoot-out at Exeter City.

Despite naming a strong line-up, the visitors never really put their Sky Bet League Two hosts under pressure in a goalless draw.

And when it came to the shoot-out, City were spot on to win 3-0 and progress to the last 16.

U’s boss Karl Robinson admitted he would rather have fallen short in the Trophy than Saturday’s League One game against Shrewsbury Town.

But that did not mean the exit should be brushed off.

He said: “If we want to be successful we’ve got to be hurt – don’t let it pass as if it doesn’t mean anything.

“People have come a long way to support us, so we feel we’ve let certain people down.

READ MORE: Exeter 0, Oxford Utd 0 (Exeter won 3-0 on penalties)

“That’s got to hurt. The dressing room is disappointed but it won’t derail us.

“Hopefully going back it will be a very quiet coach.”

He added: “The big thing for me is we were below par.

“If my players were ever going to do anything where I can give them a bit of a rocket or an awakening I’d rather do it on the back of not moving anywhere in the league.

“But I still didn’t want to go out of the competition, so it still hurts.”

Jamie Mackie came as close as anyone in yellow to breaking the deadlock.

The forward, who captained United for the night, saw his 11th-minute shot turned on to the crossbar by Dino Visser at the start of an excellent night for the City stopper.

And he was frustrated the higher-ranked visitors could not find the sort of form which has kept them firing in recent weeks.

He said: “It’s hard to fight on all four fronts like we’ve done, but ultimately we want to win every game.

“We didn’t look our normal selves and didn’t get into a rhythm.

“You can see the manager hasn’t come here and said ‘we’re not bothered about the cup competitions’.

“Of course we want to get promoted.

“It’s very hard to do that and do well in three cup competitions.

“But at the same time I don’t want to be flippant, I’m not going to say it’s all right to not go through.

“That certainly wasn’t the attitude before the game.

“We were here to go through and we take full responsibility for falling short.”