TARIQE Fosu was happy to make an impact at both ends as Oxford United shared a 1-1 draw with Gillingham.

The winger showed real quality in the first half to drive into the penalty area and pick out the far corner of Jack Bonham’s net with a curling shot.

But the hosts levelled through Brandon Hanlan’s penalty and in the closing stages of the Sky Bet League One clash both sides pushed for a winner.

Fosu is known for his attacking contributions, but he showed great desire to get back and reach a cross just before Barry Fuller at the back post.

The 24-year-old, who ended up in a heap in the net, said: “You have to put your body on the line, especially towards the end of the game.

“That was a clear-cut chance so I’ve got to help the team any way I can.

“This is a hard place to come and they made it difficult. To get a point here is a good result.”

Karl Robinson also worked with Fosu at Charlton Athletic, but his defensive intervention was a new one for the head coach.

He said: “I’ve said before he’s one of the best players I’ve worked with for a long time.

“I’ve never seen Tariqe Fosu head a ball at the back post, ever. He nearly got clattered by the goalie, the post, everyone. He said ‘gaffer, I don’t like doing that’.

“He’s certainly learning a part of the game I didn’t think he was capable of doing and I’m really proud of him.”

The goal took Fosu into double figures for the season for the first time in his career.

And it came in particularly satisfying fashion.

He said: “I’ve been practising that in training and it came off, so I’m happy.

“I’ve got to keep going and just want to help the team as much as possible.”

The former Reading trainee was the centre of attention for the home fans, who felt he was going down too easily in his battle with the robust Fuller.

Robinson said: “I don’t know why he got stick.

“How do you deal with talent? If you can’t deal with it within the rules of the game it becomes difficult.

“He only went down once or twice because he was fearful of the aggression in the tackles.

“Sometimes you do have to lift yourself off the ground to protect yourself. I thought he did that.

“Barry’s an honest player, but you know when he hits you he hits you hard.”