PERHAPS Oxford United’s status as outsiders is their greatest weapon in the fight for a play-off place.

If the U's were the hunted, rather than the hunter, maybe they would have felt the pressure of three points slipping away when Niall Ennis equalised for Plymouth Argyle 20 minutes into the second half.

But they responded in exactly the right way, regaining control and retaking the lead through Matty Taylor four minutes later.

The striker's second goal saw United run out comfortable 3-1 winners and if they had been more ruthless in the first half it would have been more.

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Rob Atkinson and Mide Shodipo headed off-target, while Argyle goalkeeper Mike Cooper deserves praise for point-blank saves from Mark Sykes and Taylor, even if they should have scored.

It was a good job Plymouth captain Joe Edwards helped United out by heading into his own net after 29 minutes.

The U's were very impressive during that opening 45, with Cameron Brannagan barely misplacing a pass, Sykes continuing a run of energetic displays and Dan Agyei's pace - and more importantly, end product - creating problems on the right.

But it is rare one team dominates a game for the full 90 minutes and Plymouth had shown enough to suggest they could hurt United.

The U's started slowly after the break and their opponents capitalised, as their two best players, Danny Mayor and Ennis, combined to level the scores.

That goal came at almost exactly the same time as AFC Wimbledon's equaliser on Tuesday, but these were two very different games.

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Not only were United down to ten men in midweek, but their hosts were in great form and full of belief, whereas Plymouth had just lost 6-0 at home to Charlton Athletic.

Even so, the U's did not panic and got back in front, with Taylor's double sealing the deal.

To reach 17 goals for the season is no mean feat for anyone, but especially in a campaign where United's top scorer has finished several games without a clear chance coming his way.

The U's are fifth, but without the pressure that normally goes with that position at this stage of the season, and can sit back and relax as their rivals face crucial games on Tuesday.