ROB Hall’s match-winning free-kick against Cambridge United saved him from being substituted, revealed Karl Robinson.

The Oxford United forward curled home brilliantly with 16 minutes remaining to settle the Papa John’s Trophy third round tie.

Read the match report here

It had been a frustrating evening for Hall and his teammates against the Sky Bet League Two high-fliers, but Robinson was delighted for the U’s No 7.

“He certainly has a place in my heart,” he said.

“If we want anybody in the football club on that free-kick it would be Rob Hall.

“He was about to come off, so it was the perfect time.”

In a game of few clear-cut chances for United, Hall leapt at the chance of a sight of goal.

He said: “It was in a difficult position – too close for the cross, but on the angle for the shot.

“It had been a sticky game with the ball bobbling, so this was my one chance to put the ball down and focus on something.”