JON-PAUL Pittman admitted scoring the winning goal against Northampton on Saturday was the perfect way to get off the mark for the season.

The substitute lashed home after a long Peter Leven pass with 11 minutes remaining as the U’s recorded a vital 2-1 victory at the Kassam Stadium.

After getting off to a great start when James Constable gave them a 14th-minute lead, Clive Platt’s equaliser on 76 minutes looked like stretching United’s npower League Two winless run to five games.

But Pittman showed great composure to fire past Lee Nicholls and earn his side a massive win.

“I’ve had a few opportunities to score this season – it’s not like I haven’t been in the right positions – but it’s great to get off the mark like that,” he said.

“It’s obviously a really good feeling to come on and make an impact and get the winning goal, but as always the most important thing was to get the win which we badly wanted.

“It was a great ball from Levs, and I managed to spin my man, get one-on-one with the keeper and just smash it. Luckily for me it went in.”

It looked initially that Sean Rigg might latch onto the pass, but Pittman took charge, and was thankful he was able to supply the finish.

“Riggy said to me afterwards that we were side by side and he was tempted to barge me out of the way, but thought he’d let me go through,” he said.

“I guess it’s lucky I scored or maybe he’d have been having a few words with me.”

Assistant manager Mickey Lewis praised Pittman’s contribution, and hopes the goal gives the ex-Wycombe man confidence to go on from here.

“JP has come on and looked lively and that’s what we need from him a little bit more,” Lewis said.

“He has the ability to change a game. He’s strong, good in the air and has pace, and we are working to get more out of him.

“He took his goal very well and we are delighted for him – hopefully he will go on from here.”

The U’s are next in action at Accrington in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday.