Cheshire referee Steve Cummins had an absolute nightmare at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday as he showed the yellow card to Barrow right back Natt Kerr twice - but let him stay on the pitch.

The embarrassing blunder, which had echoes of Graham Poll's famous mess-up in the World Cup finals game between Croatia and Australia, when he booked Croatia's Simunic three times, came just before half-time.

Kerr, who had been cautioned along with United's Craig Nelthorpe on 36 minutes, brought down Lewis Haldane on the very edge of the box as the U's winger tried to cut into the box from the left.

The ref immediately pointed for a foul and showed Kerr the yellow card, but the player then ran back 20 yards into a group of players.

Mr Cummins hadn't made a note of the No 3's number, and went looking for the player he'd booked as United's players complained that there should now be a red card.

Cue lengthy discussions between the ref and one of his assistants, but when he returned to start play again, he again ignored the fact that he'd twice yellow-carded Kerr, and told United to get on with the free-kick A few minutes later, during the break, the ref was telling everyone he had in fact booked the No 27, Marcus Holness, but video replays showed he clearly hadn't.

The U's won the game thanks to three goals in the last 27 minutes to chalk up their sixth successive home win in the league.

Half-time substitute Craig Farrell, got the ball rolling on 63 minutes, finising off a superb passing move involving Haldane and James Constable with a cool low finish past keeper Alan Martin.

It was Farrell's first Oxford goal, and was the breakthrough they needed after constant pressure.

Haldane made the points safe with an excellent individual goal 11 minutes from time, cutting in from the left touchline, leaving Kerr for dead, and rifling an angled right-footed drive into the goal from 15 yards.

And substitute Yemi Odubade completed the rout with a far-post finish from Farrell's pass for his seventh goal of the season.

The 3-0 win was sweet revenge after Barrow had won by the same score at Holker Street on the opening day of the season.

Manager Chris Wilder kept to the 4-4-1-1 system with Adam Murray operating just behind the main striker, and with James Constable returning from suspension, that meant Craig Farrell dropping to the bench.

Eddie Hutchinson was preferred to Joe Burnell on the bench.

The pitch, still hard in places, passed a 1.30pm inspection, to the relief of the Oxford players, and probably Barrow too after their six-hour coach journey.

Attacking towards the open end in the first half, the U's made all the running.

Barrow keeper Alan Martin was troubled by a classy early cross from Craig Nelthorpe, and his punch under pressure at the near post was more like a flap.

Murray tried his luck with a 30-yard drive, which arrowed just over the bar, and when Lewis Haldane broke clear down the left with a good burst of speed, he had Constable square but went it alone and saw his shot comfortably saved by Martin.

However, Haldane produced an excellent piece ok skill on 17 minutes when he controlled Chris Carruthers' long diagonal pass with a smart chest trap forward, to beat his marker, and he was unlucky to see Martin pull off a great save from his drilled angled shot.

Spectators were left bemused by an announcement over the tannoy informing them that "an incident had been reported in the stadium". This repeated several times before it was overridden by a further instruction that it had been a false alarm.

The first half died a bit of a death as a spectacle until Murray went close with a free-kick from near the left touchline, which curled just over the bar with Martin struggling.

Farrell replaced Nelthorpe at the break and United reverted to 4-4-2, with Murray dropping deeper into midfield.

Haldane drove a shot over the bar, and when a long-range effort from Carruthers was pushed out by Martin, Adam Chapman had what appeared an open goal in front of him, but shot against the outside of the post.

Oxford Utd: Turley; Batt (Odubade 77), Willmott, Foster, Carruthers; Haldane, Chapman, Clist, Nelthorpe (Farrell h-t); Murray; Constable. Subs not used: Hinchliffe, Day, Hutchinson.

Booked: Nelthorpe, Haldane.

Att: 4,532 (148 from Barrow)