Accrington boss John Coleman was impressed by his players’ work-rate as they won 2-1 at Oxford to keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the League One play-offs.
Well-taken goals by Paul Smyth on 16 minutes and Michael Nottingham with the winner 20 minutes from time gave Stanley a deserved victory.
They should also have had a goal when Dion Charles knocked the ball over the line at a corner, but the assistant referee did not award it.
But Coleman had sympathy with the official.
He said: “In that situation the linesman can’t guess. If he hasn’t seen it clearly, he can’t give it.
“Yes, I’ve been told it did go over the line, but if he’s not sure he can’t award it, so I support his decision.
“It was another of those times when I thought that everything that can go against us is going against us.
“But I’m just really pleased with the effort the players put in and how hard they worked.
“I know I’ve been saying all season that you can’t fault the players for their effort, but in this game we passed it better than them, and we made some great chances.
“We know we’ve got a good side here, we’ve shown that.
“And today we had a steely determination about us.
“Colby Bishop led from the front, he has been tremendous the last two games, and goalkeeper Toby Savin led from the back as well with some very good saves.
“This is not an easy place to come, Matty Taylor’s often been a big thorn in our side and Brandon Barker was outstanding for them, I thought.
“So we’ve done well to keep them at bay.
“And then our front two caused them problems all day.
“Paul Smyth’s pace is a wonderful thing and Colby Bishop gave them a hard time.”
Oxford manager Karl Robinson felt the U’s should have got something out of the game.
Elliot Lee equalised Smyth’s early strike on 25 minutes, but they could not find a way past Savin again, and now appear almost out of the running to reach the play-offs following back-to-back Easter defeats.
“It’s not mathematically impossible but we’re almost in last-chance saloon,” Robinson said.
“We dominated large parts of the game but I’m left bitterly disappointed by the result.
“We didn’t start strongly but then we were kicking into the wind.
“We just didn’t take the opportunities when they came.
“I know there’s a lot more to come from certain players.
“In most areas between the two boxes we were the better team – it’s just we didn’t take our chances.
“And I don’t think we are street-wise enough at certain times. Their second goal came out of the blue in the second half.
“These are the kinds of games when we probably need the fans in to help us and get us over the line.
“There are certain players who are out injured whose power we have been missing, there’s no doubt about that.
“It may appear, looking at the league table, that we haven’t kicked on after finishing fourth last season. But I know, as a football club, we have progressed.”