Oxford United crashed to their first home defeat of the season as Aldershot maintained their 100 per cent away form.

The U's battled back from two goals down at half-time to level by the 55th minute, thanks to efforts from Alex Jeannin and Paul Shaw, but Lewis Chalmers headed in a corner seven minutes from time to earn the Shots victory.

Aldershot took a 15th-minute lead through a penalty gifted to them by United's French centre half Arthur Gnohere. He unaccountably handled Scott Davies's right-wing corner, when under no apparent pressure, and John Grant converted the spot kick with a straight low shot to Billy Turley's right.

The U's had already had good chances by then, with Alex Jeannin sending over some excellent crosses from the left. One seemed on a plate for Marvin Robinson but the recalled striker couldn't get anything on his header.

Straight after the penalty, Paul Shaw won a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Jeannin fired it straight into the wall and none of his teammates could do anything with the loose ball.

Aldershot had a strong physical presence, as they showed when the tall Louie Soares and David Winfield clattered into Turley when he collected a difficult high ball, and the U's keeper reacted angrily. Winfield was booked for his challenge and Turley also received a yellow card for reataliating.

The Shots looked threatening going forward. Grant almost turned in a centre by Anthony Charles, and a Davies glancing header went straight to Turley.

In contrast, Oxford looked ineffective as an attacking force, with Robinson adding little, and with no pace up front, the visitors found it easy to defend against them.

As the home fans became frustrated, the players made more and more mistakes, frequently giving the ball away with poor passes or through choosing the wrong option.

Had it not been for Carl Pettefer, making some vital tackles and interceptions in the centre of the pitch, United might have been in deeper trouble.

As it was they were fortunate, when a low angled drive by Soares came back off the far post, with Turley watching it, thinking it was going wide.

Robinson had a great opportunity to equalise when Aldershot's defence charged out to play Oxford offside, but it was in fact Duffy who was offside and Robinson ran through with just the keeper to beat, but shot straight at Nikki Bull's legs, the keeper making a good save.

And within minutes, the home side were made to pay for that miss as the Shots went two up, helped by some sloppy defending.

Soares produced a storming run along the left, easily riding a half-hearted challenge from Mickey Corcoran, and from his pass, John Grant cut in past two defenders inside the box and fired home.

Oxford's comeback started straight from the second half kick-off.

Jim Smith had replaced Rob Duffy and Gnohere with Yemi Odubade and Eddie SAnaclet, and it was from Anaclet's first touches, and then a good right-wing cross, that Jeannin arrived at the back post to volley home just 26 seconds after the restart.

Nine minutes later and the U's were level. Robinson knocked on Day's long throw and Paul Shaw turned his marker and fired in a low shot from an acuite angle that Bull got a hand to, but couldn't keep out.

Grant dribbled past two players on a direct run into the box, but just as he looked set to complete his hat-trick, Corcoran managed a crucial challenge to stop him in his tracks.

Robinson got his second great opportunity to score when he ran onto Shaw's perfect through pass, through the middle. Again, though, he lacked a finishing touch as Bull saved well with his legs opnce more.

Good interplay by Anaclet and Odubade ended with Odubade having a shot on goal blocked, and within minutes, Aldershot had snatched a third goal as Chalmers headed in a Davies corner from six yards.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Corcoran, Quinn, Gnohere (Anaclet h-t), Day, Pettefer, Trainer, Jeannin, Shaw, Robinson (Hutchinson 87), Duffy (Odubade h-t). Subs not used: Tardif, Standing.

Att: 5,811.