They should rename Oxford United's ground The James Constable Stadium after the in-form centre forward scored for the sixth home game in succession on Saturday.

Looking the most dangerous player on the pitch all afternoon, he showed great sharpness and awareness to hook in United's winner as they picked up all three points against a well-organised Altrincham side that had won its prevous two away games.

The 68th-minute goal came after a bit of a mess in Altrincham's box, soon after Ricky Sappleton had come off the bench for Oxford.

There were opportunities for Altrincham to clear it, but they failed to, and when it rebounded to Constable, laying on the ground, he swivelled and hooked it skilfully into the back of the net with some power.

Altrincham's hopes of getting back into the match then effectively died five minutes from time when Anthony Danylyyk, having been booked in the first half, got a second yellow card for tugging back Adam Murray, and received his marching orders.

Chris Wilder rang the changes after the Trophy defeat by York, axeing Ricky Sappleton, Eddie Hutchinson, James Clarke and Matt Day.

Chris Willmott and Adam Murray returned after suspension, Joe Burnell was back in the starting XI and new signing Craig Nelthorpe slotted in on the left wing.

That meant Lewis Haldane switching to the right, and Yemi Odubade going up front alongside 13-goal top scorer James Constable.

Predictably, it was Constable who produced the game's first shots on goal, turning quickly and firing over with his left foot after a positive run by Shane Killock, and then working himself into a shooting position in a central area with some good footwork, but seeing keeper Stuart Coburn get right behind his drilled effort.

The U's forced the pace from the start, and Luke Foster was disappointed with himself that he couldn't get over the ball as he met Murray's deep free-kick with a header over the bar.

Too often United tried to play the ball long, but there was one super eight-mkan move, all crisp passes which nearly brought a goal. Murray delivered an outstanding crossfield pass to the right, and when Chapman centred low to the near post, Haldane was just unable to turn it in.

Nelthorpe tried his luck with a 25-yard free-kick, which he got up and over the Altrincham wall, but it was a comfortable save for Stuart Coburn in the end.

Nelthorpe produced two sensational crosses near the end of the first half, which Alty defended well, but the new boy had certainly shown he has decent quality both on the ball and with his deliveries.

The visitors threatened only occasionally, and their best effort of the first half came just before the break, when Dale Johnson got past Chapman and cut the ball back for Colin Liottle, who shot first-time over the bar.

There wasn't much doubt, though, that Constable was the player who most looked like breaking the deadlock, and eiter side of the interval he was not far away.

Odubade and Haldane combined with some neat touches to set up United' centre forward on the edge of the area, and he again drove over left-footed.

Then, early in the second half, after Odubade had lifted the home fans' spirits with one of his trademark bursts down the right towards the Oxford Mail Stand, Constable smashed a cross-cum-shot from out wide against the outside of Coburn's left post.

A flare-up in the middle of the pitch raised temperatures. Constable appeared to be flattened by his marker, Greg Young, and the Oxford players reacted angrily to it. But when the ref eventually restored order, and calm, he elected to book both players.

Wilder replaced Willmott on the hour, sending on Chris Carruthers at left back, and moving Killock to centre back.

Within seconds, Killock saw Johnson get the better of him on a run at goal, and then alow shot, but Billy Turley made an excellent save with his foot.

Sappleton's arrival, for Haldane, gave the home side a second wind, and Altrincham immediately struggled to deal with Sappleton's power.

The big man really should have scored when he bundled his way clear with only the keeper to beat, after an error from Matt Doughty, but then couldn't force it in, and Young got it away.

Sappleton was also unlucky, a few minutes later, to see his angled shot through a crowd of players, dribbled just past the far post, despite Odubade's valiant effort to reach it.

Oxford Utd: Turley, Chapman, Willmott (Carruthers 60), Foster, Killock, Haldane (Sappleton 66), Murray, Burnell, Nelthorpe, Odubade (Day 81), Constable. Subs not used: Hinchliffe, Hutchinson.

Booked: Constable, Chapman.

Att: 4,249 (109 from Altrincham).