Oxford boss Chris Wilder saw his side`s play-off hopes suffer a crushing blow as they were beaten 3-0 at Bury.
Nicky Ajose opened the scoring after just 45 seconds and he doubled his tally after Ryan Lowe had notched his 25th goal of the season.
Wilder said: "It was disappointing for everyone who was involved. A lot of hard work had gone into this week by everybody.
"We've chucked it. From the first minute, we've made it such a difficult task.
"We just gave the opposition the unbelievable boost they were craving for because there had obviously been unrest here in the week.
"And the results they have had with them getting beat in their last two at home had maybe put a lot of doubt in their players' minds. When you concede a goal like that after 45 seconds, it just makes it a massive uphill task."