Clinical Oxford inflicted a second successive defeat on the Reds who dropped down to 16th place in the League One table.

John Coleman’s men had their opportunities at the Kassam Stadium but promotion-chasing United took theirs, making it three wins on the trot for them.

James Henry and a Matty Taylor double meant the scoreline flattered Oxford but defensive lapses at one end and the failure to take their chances at the other cost the Reds dear.

Coleman brought back 12-goal striker Colby Bishop for his first start since mid-January after a back injury, replacing Wolves loan man Benny Ashley-Seal.

Fulham loan defender Jerome Opoku also got the nod to start after injury with centre half Mark Hughes out with a calf strain.

Stanley started the stronger side and pressed Oxford without testing keeper Simon Eastwood.

They came close when, after Jordan Clark had done the hard work on the wing, the ball came to Joe Pritchard in the box but his goalbound effort was blocked.

From that, on 13 minutes, Oxford broke at pace. Marcus Browne fed the ball to Henry and he stroked the ball home from the edge of the area to give United the lead.

Karl Robinson’s men then grew into the game and looked to build on their advantage with the unmarked Taylor heading just over.

However Stanley still had their chances and were desperately unlucky on 30 minutes when a Clark header was scrambled out of his goal by Eastwood.

The ball fell to Dion Charles four yards out and his strike was blocked before the ball came back to Charles and he could only rifle his shot over the bar much to his frustration.

Oxford then enjoyed a spell of pressure, Ross Sykes superbly blocking a Henry cross with Taylor waiting unmarked in the area while Browne had a shot from an angle deflected into the side netting and Taylor forced a strong save out of Joe Bursik all before half-time.

Stanley started the second half well but, three minutes in, were 2-0 down.

Left winger Cameron Brannagan found Taylor, on loan from Bristol City, unmarked at the far post for a simple finish.

Henry came close to a third minutes later but Bursik stuck his leg out to deny him and the Stanley keeper was in action again, pushing out Browne’s fierce free kick.

Coleman’s men then again enjoyed a spell of pressure without testing Eastwood and Ashley-Seal came on for Charles with just over 20 minutes left.

However, it was game over on 72 minutes when Henry’s right wing cross was headed home by Taylor for his sixth goal in five games.