York City boss Nigel Worthington saluted the togetherness of his squad after their 1-0 win over Play-Off rivals Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Michael Coulson's disputed 48th-minute penalty brought the Minstermen a vital victory that lifted them above the U's and back into seventh place.

Worthington said: "It's a fantastic three points for us.

"The important thing was to keep a clean sheet and we've done that.

"What pleased me most about the performance was the way we showed a real togetherness within the group.

"Everybody within the group did a shift, and if you're going to be successful, that's what you need.

"It was a hard-fought game against a good Oxford side.

"Oxford started off very well. We withstood the early pressure and then came into the game. We managed the game very well."

The penalty, for a handball by Dave Kitson following a corner, was awarded in the end by a linesman, after referee Oliver Langford seemed ready to let play go on.

"What amazed me with the penalty was that the referee was standing right next to it and didn't give it," said Worthington.

"But his assistant did, and he was spot on, because I was 50 yards away and I thought it was a handball.

"And credit to Coulson, he stepped up and put it away."

York extended their unbeaten run in League Two to 14 games, and Worthington said: "We've got three games to go and we're ticking along nicely.

"It was a terrific win at the business and of the season."

Coulson converted the spot kick with aplomb, firing it high into the top-left corner to give U's keeper Ryan Clarke no chance, although he had dived the right way.

United head coach Gary Waddock was very unhappy with the decision to award it.

He said: "The most disappointing part of the defeat was that decision and the delay before it was given.

"It looked as if it was going to be a 0-0. It was a very disappointing decision for us, we're just not getting any luck at the moment. Hopefully that will change in the last three games."

Oxford were shot shy in the first half, but they had a great opportunity to equalise late on after centre back Michael Raynes was thrown forward.

First Raynes scooped a shot over the bar from a great position 12-yards out, and in stoppage time he headed wide from Alfie Potter's right-wing cross.

Waddock said: "I said to the players in the dressing room at half time, that there were a couple of occasions when we were in the penalty area and someone needed to pull the trigger.

"Maybe if Michael Raynes had been more of a natural finisher he'd have put it away.

"But the pitch was very difficult to play on, very bobbly, and that maybe played a part too. It's something we need to look at going forward.

"York are a very well organised side with a good manager. They came and did a job on us.

"We now need to dust ourselves down and have just got to win the next three."