GOALS early in each half by Phil Trainer and James Constable brought Oxford United a third successive home win in the Blue Square Premier.

It was another good all-round team performance from the U's, who again looked a good unit and made one of the leading teams in the division look ordinary.

Constable's return was important, but so too were the fine performances of fullbacks James Clarke and Chris Carruthers, and United's two centre backs.

Joe Burnell was ruled out by injury so U's boss Darren Patterson pushed Trainer into central midfield with Sam Deering coming in on the left wing, making his first league start for the club.

And Trainer it was who made and scored the opening goal in the eighth minute.

First, as United looked to break quickly, he picked out Haldane with a pass out to the right, and when defender Jake Buxton blocked Haldane's shot, Haldane picked up the loose ball and crossed superbly into the six-yard box where Trainer volleyed in.

It meant Phil "The Power" had scored Oxford United's last three goals, in three different games.

James Constable produced a bit of trickery inside the box, to twist and turn before eventually screwing a low shot past the far post.

Midway through the first half, Deering went on a terrific run, beating three players as he cut inside from the left and then darted into the area. As space opened up, Deering struck his shot low, but a yard past Kevin Poole's right post.

Albion almost equalised when Marc Goodfellow chipped a cross from the right and Greg Pearson planted a glancing header just beyond the far post.

The U's were playing with confidence going forward and another opportunity fell their way when the ref pulled play back to book John McGrath after he had tugged at Haldane's shirt. Deering's resulting free-kick went into the wall.

Burton were awarded a free-kick in a similarly dangerous position after a foul by James Clarke, who until then had been defending with great strength and poise. United didn't clear it properly, and Lee Morris's shot on the turn brought a lolw save to his left from Billy Turley.

Moments later, Chris Carruthers got back to make a vital block from Pearson when he ran clear.

Burton boss Nigel Clough made a change in defence for the second half, and it was to prove crucial.

He brought on Ryan Austin to play at centre back but within three and a half minutes, Austin had conceded a penalty.

James Constable showed his strength on a run into the box, and when he got up after slipping to the ground, Austin tripped him.

Constable brushed himself down and then hammered in his fifth goal of the season.

Oxford brought on Yemi odubade for the last 17 minutes and he drove in a shot from 20 yards that struck Andy Corbett in the mid-riff.

Odubade also went close with a looping shot, which just deflected off Corbett's foot for a corner.

Burton substitute Shaun Harrad produced one of the visitors' few attempts on goal near the end, with a low shot that Billy Turley turned around his post.

But in the 89th minute, Burton pulled a goal back when sub Matty Taylor conceded a free-kick outside the area, and Aaron Webster drove a shot through United's wall.

It set up a nervy last few moments, but the U's held on to make it nine points out of nine from their last three at home.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Clarke, Foster, Quinn, Carruthers, Deering, Murray, Trainer, Haldane (Taylor 83), Constable, Guy (Odubade 73).