OXFORD United’s players and supporters celebrated long into the night on this day four years ago – but one main man marked promotion in more low-key fashion.

Despite a stunning 2015/16 season, Michael Appleton’s side went into the final game knowing anything other than a victory could see them drop into the play-offs.

The U’s duly stood up to the task, with a 3-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers sealing second place in Sky Bet League Two in fitting style.

It prompted a delirious pitch invasion by fans at the Kassam Stadium, while the beer was flowing in the dressing room.

ARCHIVE: Oxford United's epic 2015/16 campaign ends in style

For most the party continued all weekend, but not for the United boss.

“It sounds crazy but I just wanted to soak it in a little bit, because I knew there would be plenty of time for celebrations,” Appleton said.

“I went home, had a kebab, a couple of beers and watched the Football League Show and Match of the Day.

“Everyone left me to it. It’s a bit sad really, but it was perfect for me.

“Nine months of hard work had come off.”

United had to win their final three games to hang on to automatic promotion.

After successes against Hartlepool United and Carlisle United, only Wycombe stood in their way.

And when it came to last-minute preparations, Appleton got an unexpected helping hand from opposite number Gareth Ainsworth.

“I didn’t really need to do anything, because Gareth and Wycombe were talking a lot in the papers about coming to spoil the party,” the now Lincoln City boss said.

“I never take notice of any of that, but the players did and I didn’t try to stop it.

“I knew it had wound them up a little bit and it was enough motivation they needed to go and turn them over.”

Second-half goals from Chey Dunkley, Chris Maguire and Callum O’Dowda did precisely that.

And the margin of victory allowed Appleton precious time to take it all in.

He said: “It was just one of those moments which are few and far between, because there’s a lot more failures than successes in football.

“To be able to enjoy those last few minutes and soak it up by having a look round was very good.

“There was a lot of hard work that went into completely changing the culture and reigniting the relationship between the fans and the club.

“For it to pay off the way it did was great. Not only that, we put together a group of young men and nearly all of them have gone on to bigger and better things.

“That side would be worth a few quid now.”