YEMI Odubade's late penalty brought Oxford United their fifth successive home win - and fourth in the league.

A dull game, played in constant sleet and rain, came to life when a burst of pace from Odubade, who had come on as a sub, took him into the box and onto Phil Trainer's pass, and he was tripped by Darren Kelly.

There were just five minutes left, but Odubade showed no sign of pressure as he calmly stepped up and rolled the spot kick into the net to the keeper's right.

In truth, it wasn't the kind of match to excite anyone, but sometimes you need to grind out 1-0 wins, when you're not playing that well, to make an impact in the league, and United did just that.

Sam Deering and Adam Murray had good games, as did many in the defence for keeping a second successive clean sheet.

Jamie Guy nearly pounced when York goalkeeper Michael Ingham spilled the ball in the slippery conditions early on, and under pressure from the striker. Guy had only a split-second to react but chipped an angled shot wide.

The Minstermen were more incisive in their attacks, creating opportunities for Simon Russell, who drove across goal but wide, and Onome Sodje, who screwed an early effort some way past Billy Turley's right post.

It was becoming a real battle, and often quite a mess, in a congested midfield, and Oxford looked at their most threatening when they got the ball out wide to right winger Sam Deering.

After one fine piece of control, Deering delivered a dangerous cross that James Constable was just unable to turn in.

With York defending well, the U's were having to shoot from distance. Phil Trainer hit one particularly fierce drive, which just deflected off Danny Parslow to flash wide.

City left back Mark Robinson was booked for scything down Deering in full flow.

It needed some excellent defending by Luke Foster to force his way goalside of Sodje when the visitors' striker looked to have broken through.

Lewis Haldane had been out of the action for most of the first half, but just before the break, he reacted quicker than anyone else on a bouncing ball in the area, and hooked a left-footed shot over the bar.

Oxford brought on combative midfielder Eddie Hutchinson for the disappointing Lewis Haldane at half-time, and within a few minutes, Hutchinson had escaped his marker to meet Deering's cross, but it proved an easy save for Ingham.

Yemi Odubade also made an early impact when he replaced Jamie Guy, managing one of the game's few decent shots, which Ingham saved low to his left.

York momentarily came to life as an attacking force just before the end when, on the break, sub Craig Farrell had a shot on the turn just deflect wide.

But Oxford thought they should have had a penalty 13 minutes from time when Deering was fouled as he tried to fend off a defender on the very edge of the area.

He looked more inside than outside the box, but ref Rob Lewis, after consulting his assistant, awarded a free-kick rather than penalty, and it came to nothing.

Hutchinson then went close with a header from Chris Carruthers' deep cross.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Day, Willmott, Foster, Carruthers, Deering, Murray, Trainer, Haldane (Hutchinson h-t), Constable, Guy (Odubade 63). Subs not used: Hinchliffe, Taylor, Burnell.

Att: 4,449.