KARL Robinson felt Oxford United’s display at Sunderland did not get the credit it deserved as controversy reigned at the Stadium of Light.

The U’s were up against Sky Bet League One’s form side, but led through James Henry’s 21st-minute strike and did not let their opponents register a shot on target until the 41st minute.

Lynden Gooch's equaliser in stoppage-time at the end of the first period was a blow, before off-pitch incidents took over.

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After an alleged headbutt on United goalkeeper Jack Stevens at the break, the visitors had to play the final half an hour with ten men after Mark Sykes was sent off.

They held out until the 81st minute, when Robinson saw red for his reaction to Sunderland's second goal.

Karl Robinson: Jack Stevens 'headbutted' at half-time

Max Power then incensed the U's bench as he celebrated his late strike in front of the dugouts, causing tempers to flare again.

Read also: Sunderland boss has warning for Karl Robinson

The scoreline suggested a routine victory for third-placed Sunderland, but Robinson believes it skewed the picture.

“The result will say different and it’s all about the result, but I’m proud of my players and they’ll gain confidence from this,” the U’s head coach said.

“There was an anger because we played well enough to get something out of the game.

“The frustration is that when your players give you everything and things go against them, you feel for them.

“I’m sure there won’t be one Oxford fan who will be disappointed by our players’ fight and determination.

“We’re talking more about the referee’s deficiencies rather than my players’ performance, and I think that was exceptional.”