GREG Leigh nodded in a late winner for Oxford United at home to Cheltenham Town, to end the side’s four-game winless run, and keep their play-off hopes ticking over.

Josh Murphy gave United the lead in first half stoppage time, when he arrowed in a super strike inside the penalty box.

Will Ferry equalised with 10 minutes to go, to set up a frantic end to the game, but Leigh won it for the U’s when he headed in Owen Dale’s cross.

Des Buckingham named a completely unchanged starting XI and bench from the side which was unfortunate to lose at league leaders Portsmouth last weekend.

Matty Taylor missed out on a potential homecoming for the visitors, after suffering a hamstring injury in midweek.

The U’s took their time to get going in the first half, with only a concerted spell of pressure towards the end of the opening 45 minutes leading to clearer sights of goal, and the opener.

The half began with a low effort from Ruben Rodrigues drifting wide from 25 yards, before a Marcus McGuane shot from a similar distance bent into the gloves of Robins goalkeeper Luke Southwood.

At the other end, Liam Kinsella was teed up on the edge of the penalty area, however his shot was always rising.

Rodrigues slipped into space down the right channel of the box, and squared the ball for Dale, who blazed over from a tight angle with 27 minutes on the clock.

Kinsella sent a shot into the arms of Jamie Cumming, from a second ball at a corner, before Mark Harris forced a low save out of Southwood with a 20-yard strike.

From that point, United managed to end the final few minutes of the half on the front foot.

Murphy let fly with a low 25-yard strike which Southwood claimed with relative ease, while a powerful Cameron Brannagan free kick won by Murphy was fisted away by Northern Ireland international Southwood.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Brannagan warmed the gloves of Southwood with a stinging 25-yard strike, prior to the U’s finding the opening goal.

Brannagan squared the ball for Murphy, who arrowed in a lovely strike for his third goal in six games.

The second period followed a similar trend to the first half, although with far less in the way of efforts at goal.

A good tackle from Elliott Moore stopped Kinsella making a way towards goal, while Murphy threatened on the left, with the final ball just letting him down at times.

Buckingham’s first switch came midway through the half, when Will Goodwin came on against his former side, in place of Harris up front.

The Robins had a sight of goal after Kinsella’s committed challenge took the ball off the toe of Marcus McGuane, leading to substitute Jordan Thomas, formerly of Didcot Town and North Leigh, to force a low save out of Cumming.

The away side went one better with 10 minutes to go though, when the ball fell to Ferry on the edge of the box, with his strike sneaking through the bodies and nestling in the bottom corner.

United went straight up the other end in a search to reclaim their lead, with a Leigh header from a Brannagan corner pawed away by Southwood.

Leigh did then get himself on scoresheet when he arrived at the back post to nod in Dale’s superb dinked cross from the right-hand side byline, and claim all three points for the U’s.

Oxford United (4-2-3-1): Cumming; Stevens, Moore, Brown, Leigh; McGuane, Brannagan; Dale, Rodrigues, Murphy (Bodin 90); Harris (Goodwin 67).

Unused subs: Eastwood, Thorniley, Bennett, Matete, Henry.

Booked: Brown.

Cheltenham Town (3-5-2): Southwood; Davies (Smith 70), Bradbury, Shepherd; Long, Sercombe (Harrop 57), Pett (Sloggett 70), Kinsella (Bonds 83), Ferry; Nuttall (Thomas 57), Keena.

Unused subs: Pardington, Williams.

Booked: Sercombe, Long, Davies, Ferry.

Referee: Marc Edwards (County Durham)

Attendance: 8,738 (643 visitors).