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How Oxford United became kings of the road
AS FAR as omens go, a scruffy 1-0 win in the East End did little to suggest it would set Oxford United on the way to a record.
But Alfie Potter’s winner in the drizzle at Dagenham last April kicked off an unbeaten run which stretched for 16 games until Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at Newport County.
From Torquay to Teesside and Fleetwood to Field Mill, the U’s have gone to all four corners of the country and come back with a result.
The run eclipsed the previous best by just a single game, set between January and September 2009.
Anyone who attended all the games will have clocked up more than 4,250 miles and seen some memorable moments along the way.
They were headed by a sensational 4-1 win at Fratton Park in August.
Potter, along with Deane Smalley, bagged two against Portsmouth and the winger produced a flash of brilliance a month later, slaloming through Burton Albion’s defence to set up a 2-0 win.
- James Constable's smashes a superb goal in a 3-1 win at Torquay
James Constable’s thunderous volley at Plainmoor and Dave Kitson’s last-gasp equaliser against the Cod Army also sparked wild celebrations in the away end.
- Dave Kitson claims an 89th-minute header at Fleetwood to earn a 1-1 draw
It was also about grinding out results under pressure.
Coming from behind twice at Cheltenham with an under-strength side took plenty of spirit, as did holding off Bury this month.
- United's players applaud the away fans after a goalless draw at York
The run may be over, but it has given United a blueprint for success as they head towards the run-in – combining quality with a gritty determination.
United's away run
April 13: Dagenham & Redbridge 0, Oxford Utd 1 (Potter)
April 27: Accrington Stanley 0, Oxford Utd 3 (Constable, Smalley, Rigg)
Aug 3: Portsmouth 1, Oxford Utd 4 (Smalley 2, Potter 2)
Aug 17: Torquay United 1, Oxford Utd 3 (Smalley, Constable, Hall)
Sept 7: Burton Albion 0, Oxford Utd 2 (Potter, Rose)
Sept 14: Cheltenham Town 2, Oxford Utd 2 (Kitson, Mullins)
Sept 28: Hartlepool United 1, Oxford Utd 3 (Williams, Smalley, Hall)
Oct 19: Accrington Stanley 0, Oxford Utd 0
Oct 26: AFC Wimbledon 0, Oxford Utd 2 (Constable, Smalley)
Nov 16: Mansfield Town 1, Oxford Utd 3 (Rigg, Constable, Williams)
Nov 30: Fleetwood Town 1, Oxford Utd 1 (Kitson)
Dec 21: York City 0, Oxford Utd 0
Jan 18: Wycombe Wanderers 0, Oxford Utd 1 (Wroe)
Jan 28: Exeter City 0, Oxford Utd 0
Feb 4: Bury 1, Oxford Utd 1 (Ruffels)
Feb 8: Bristol Rovers 1, Oxford Utd 1 (Constable)