JOHN Mousinho hailed Oxford United’s defensive effort after they withstood a barrage of Plymouth Argyle pressure to progress in the Emirates FA Cup.

The hosts dominated the opening 45 minutes of the third round tie, but were unable to break the deadlock as the U’s went on to claim a 2-1 victory.

United made Argyle pay with goals from James Henry and Cameron Brannagan in the space of four second half minutes.

Plymouth reduced the deficit through Antoni Sarcevic, before piling on the pressure.

Rob Dickie cleared off the line, Simon Eastwood denied Yann Songo’o, while Ruben Lameiras hit a post.

Captain Mousinho was delighted with the way United stood firm.

He said: “We knew it was going to be tough, so to win was really pleasing.

“In the first half, we maybe rode our luck a bit, but I think our defending in the area was brilliant, we put our bodies on the line.

“Even in the second half, we had Rob Dickie blocking one on the line and Simon Eastwood made a brilliant save and that’s a really good sign.”

With the tie goalless at the break, United were able to dominate the opening 15 minutes of the second period and, crucially, score twice.

Mousinho added: “If we can make sure we stay in games we always have that threat.

“Maybe the only disappointment was we didn’t kill the game off at 2-0, but we’ll take the win.”