Exeter 1-2 Oxford: U's book place in play-offs after narrow win in Devon

Cameron Brannigan
Cameron Brannigan's penalty was enough to earn a play-off place [Getty Images]

Oxford secured the final League one play-off place with a narrow victory over Exeter City at St James Park.

Mark Harris' early goal put the visitors in front before Cameron Brannigan further eased any nerves with a penalty five minutes before half-time.

Millenic Alli pulled a goal back for Exeter, who end the season in 13th place.

But Oxford held and are set to face Peterborough in the play-offs, with Bolton taking on Barnsley, in the hunt for the final Championship promotion spot.

Harris gave the visitors the lead on 12 minutes after winning the ball high up the pitch, racing through on goal and slid the ball home low to the right of keeper Viljami Sinisalo.

Eight minutes later, the Sinisalo saved Elliott Moore's header on the line, but with half time looming, Brannigan doubled the lead from the penalty spot ,finding the bottom left corner after Josh Murphy was brought down in the area.

But seven minutes after the break, Exeter halved the deficit through Alli, who powered home Tom Carroll's corner, and that changed the momentum.

Oxford began to retreat, knowing they needed to win, and Moore was required to make a crucial intervention after Alli drove down the left and flashed the ball across goal, but they held on to keep their Championship dream alive.

It looked like Oxford would meet Botlon in the play-off semi-finals but a late Northampton equaliser at Barnsley meant they finished above the Yorkshire side in fifth place.