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JOE Rothwell punched the dugout in frustration as Oxford United conceded an equaliser in the final seconds to draw 2-2 with Bradford City.

The midfielder was so close to becoming the match-winner after netting in the 86th minute, with the U’s looking poised to take maximum points after coming from behind.

Wes Thomas had cancelled out Omari Patrick’s first-half opener as Pep Clotet’s side got their reward for patient, enterprising football.

But with the Bantams throwing everyone forward, Romain Vincelot’s stoppage-time header earned a point.

“When that goal went in I turned round and punched the side of the dugout,” Rothwell admitted.

“We’ve come in at full-time bitterly disappointed. It feels a bit like a loss.

“We’ll look back at it on Thursday and at the end of the day it’s probably a good point – they’re a good team and will be up there this year, so we can’t be too harsh on ourselves.”

United’s bright display, which mastered the gusty conditions and wet surface, was a joy to watch at times.

But Rothwell admitted that having got themselves in front so late, the hosts, who conceded late on to draw with Shrewsbury Town last month, could have done more to kill the game.

He said: “I think we’ve got to be a bit more clever and have more nous about us to manage the game.

“We’re quite an experienced group now and in time it will come, but hopefully this will be the last of the late goals we concede.”

Manager Pep Clotet was disappointed his side could not see out the final few seconds, but was proud with what he had seen after United fell behind against the run of play.

He said: “We managed to put in a strong display and the only shot they had in the first half they scored.

“It made it more difficult, but I saw a team that trusted themselves and the football they are playing.

“They kept going and doing things correctly to dominate the game.

“The players got their reward in the second half after a lot of hard work and some brilliant play.

“The fact that three points slipped in the last 20 seconds leaves us a little bit frustrated, but I have a feeling in the end it’s a point that will matter.”