Stevenage threw away a glorious chance for three points as they lost 3-1 at home to Oxford United in League One.

Jamie Reid had slid them in front after just 15 minutes and for a spell it looked like they would take charge.

However, Greig Leigh equalised on 23 minutes and then fired the U's into the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

Elliott Moore wrapped it up in the final 10 minutes after some shameful defending.

There is no shame in losing to this Oxford side, who looked hugely impressive at times, but there were parts of this Boro performance that were not up to standard.

They get the chance to put that right immediately with a trip to Bolton on Tuesday.

There were two changes for Stevenage from the side who beat Cheltenham Town 3-0 last weekend.

In came the fit again Luther James-Wildin and Kane Hemmings, replacing Ben Thompson and Charlie McNeill.

Thompson was on the bench as was two more of the treatment room clique, Terence Vancooten and Aaron Pressley both over their own niggles.

Harrison Neal, Charlie McNeill and Jake Forster-Caskey were the trio to make way for the returning players.

The first half was one of the most enjoyable seen at the Lamex this season with both sides going hell for leather in spells.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges, forcing a corner inside 22 seconds and managing six in the first 12 minutes.

That was met by Carl Piergianni and it needed a fine clearance from Elliott Moore to keep the ball out of the net.

It was only a temporary reprieve though as Stevenage got their noses in front in fine style.

The ball forward was little more than a clearance but Hemmings did superb to hold it up and take it down the right side of the pitch.

He had to wait and wait and wait as Reid came hurtling into the middle to support it and the ball had to be slid across with just the right amount of pace and power to allow the striker to slide in and turn it home.

It was a goal honed to the thou of an inch and it sent Boro top of the league.

That was fleeting though as Oxford struck back eight minutes later.

They had threatened just moments before when Billy Bodin flicked a corner mere centimetres beyond the pots.

That warning was not heeded though and a minute later, as the ball came in from the right, Bodin got his head on it again.

This time the crossbar kept it out but with Krisztian Hegyi prone on the floor, the impressive Leigh turned it home.

And the second part of the first period belonged to the away side.

They didn't test Hegyi too much but there was some unforced errors from Boro that put unnecessary pressure on the keeper.

There was also some fine football too from the visitors.

For Stevenage, they had a couple of opportunities to get the ball into the box but nothing came close to threatening James Beadle.

There were some thoughts in the stand that there may be a couple of home changes at the break but Steve Evans kept the status quo as the half kicked off.

And it should have started with an Oxford goal.

Dan Sweeney dilly-dallied in possession and coughed up the ball way too easily.

The problem was he was the last man and it sent Bodin in on goal. Somehow though the forward missed the target, curling it wide.

Oxford though did have the lead shortly after, and it was a wonderful strike.

It started with the ball came across the area from the right.

The left-back had his back to goal and was heading away from it too but he twisted his body and wrapped his foot round it and it flew like an Exocet into the back of the net.

And still Oxford came, with Stevenage struggling to clear it at times. It led to a council of war being hastily convened by the Boro management team.

It led to four changes with Elliott List, Louis Thompson, Pressley and Vancooten coming on and for a 10-minute spell it made a huge difference.

List forced Beadle into a stop after shrugging off Sam Long but it was a header moments later that should have brought Boro level.

It was Sweeney who put the ball into the middle and List found himself unmarked, eight yards out and in a central position.

He got under it though and with Pressley lurking behind, he put it over.

That came back to haunt them very quickly too and in shocking fashion.

A corner on the Oxford right was played short and picked up by Josh Murphy.

He had Dan Butler and Louis Thompson in close proximity but then the Boro pair simply ran away from him, both expecting the other to pick him up.

It meant Murphy had time to run into the box and pick out a team-mate, crossing for Moore to thump a header home.

And that was that.

Match details

Stevenage: Hegyi, James-Wildin, Butler, N.Thompson (Vancooten 70), Piergianni (List 70), Sweeney, Freeman (L.Thompson 70), Roberts, Burns (B.Thompson 88), Reid, Hemmings (Pressley 70).

Sub (not used): Ashby-Hammond, MacDonald. 

Goal: Reid 15

Booked: Butler 65


Oxford United: Beadle, Long, Brown, Moore, Brannagan, Bodin (O'Donkor 79), Stevens, McGuane, Goodham (Murphy 79), Rodrigues (McEachran 90), Leigh.

Subs (not used): Eastwood, Thorniley, Mills, Negru.

Goals: Leigh 23, 55, Moore 83

Booked: Moore 45+4


HT: Stevenage 1 Oxford United 1

Added time: 10

Referee: Carl Brook (Hastings)

Attendance: 5,512 (including 1,386 from Oxford)