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Oxford United 2-0 Histon

Oxford United 2-0 Histon

Oxford United bounced back from their shattering midweek defeat at Luton by beating 10-man Histon to return to the top of the Blue Square Premier.

Histon were reduced to 10 men five minutes before the break when Adam Bygrave was sent off for dissent.

And young winger Sam Deering took advantage straight after the restart when he curled home a 20-yard free-kick for his first goal in more than a year.

Sub Matt Green wrapped up the points with a late, close-range clincher.

Stevenage's 1-0 defeat at Rushden helped rejuvenated Oxford return to the top just four days after the shock of being beaten by two injury-time goals at Luton.

And Chris Wilder's men were further boosted by a defeat for their other big rivals, third-placed York City.

But victory came at a cost, midfielder Alfie Potter limping off late on with what looked like a pulled left hamstring.

Deering's last goal for Oxford was in a 2-1 defeat at Salisbury on Boxing Day 2008 - just four minutes before breaking his leg and being ruled out for the rest of the season.

That Salisbury game was noteworthy also for being Oxford boss Chris Wilder's first in charge. And, since finally returning from injury in October, Deering has struggled to win a shirt.

But he has now made four starts on the trot and his goal rewarded Wilder's faith in the winger.

He took his chance when he was fouled by Nathaniel Knight-Percival in a dangerous position on the edge of the area, picking himself up to curl into the bottom corner.

Former Histon striker Jack Midson had the best opportunity of a dull first half for Oxford but his shot was comfortably saved by Danny Naisbitt.

United, without 21-goal top scorer James Constable through suspension, looked toothless up front as they struggled to break down a stubborn Histon defence.

But the game was put beyond doubt with a minute remaining when Green rolled in the clincher from Midson's pass following some disastrous defending by the Stutes.

Histon's battle was always an uphill one after Bygrave's red card dismissal for foul and abusive language after protesting at the award of a free-kick - and they also had four players cautioned.

Oxford United: Clarke, Batt, Day, Hargreaves, Tonkin, Potter (M Green 80), Wright, Bulman, Clist, Deering (Chapman 91), Midson.
Subs Not Used: Turley, Creighton, F Green.

Booked: Bulman

Goal: Deering 47, M Green 89.

Histon: Naisbitt, Gwillim, Langston, Bygrave, Okay (Sheringham 56), Tann, Knight-Percival, Southam, Smith, Wright, Hudson-Odoi (Frew 56).
Subs Not Used: Knight, Stewart, York.

Sent off: Bygrave (40).

Booked: Knight-Percival, Smith, Sheringham, Langston.

Ref: Alan Bennett (Yorkshire).

Att: 5,365.

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