TOP of the table Oxford swept Torquay aside in the second half at Plainmoor to record a 3-1 win.
After a tight first half in which both sides came close to scoring, the visitors upped their game and overcame a hard-working but ultimately disappointing Torquay.
Gulls boss Alan Knill had one change forced on him, bringing in Tom Cruise to play in an unfamiliar right-back position in place of the suspended Dale Tonge.
Oxford manager Chris Wilder was without injured striker Dave Kitson, pairing Deane Smalley with Alfie Potter up front instead.
Heavy rain before kick-off made the Plainmoor pitch greasy, and the opening minutes were frantic.
Mistakes at the back by Torquay gave Oxford early chances which they failed to take. Dean Smalley did have the ball in the Torquay net mid-way through the half but his effort was ruled out for offside.
The visitors lost winger Sean Rigg in the first half when he pulled up with a hamstring injury.
Torquay saved their best efforts until the very closing stages of the half.
Visiting keeper Ryan Clarke pulled off a magnificent save to deny Courtney Cameron and Jake Wright was in the right place to head a Billy Bodin effort off the line.
Oxford took the lead in the 48th minute when Torquay full back Thomas Cruise headed a dangerous cross behind for a corner, and the home defence completely lost track of Deane Smalley as the ball was whipped in from the flag kick.#
Smalley met it on the volley inside the six-yard box and gave home keeper Martin Rice no chance.
The visitors had lost Alfie Potter early in the second half when the Oxford striker took a kick in the face from Aaron Downes, and it took just 10 minutes for substitute Constable to make his mark.
Torquay had just had a goal disallowed and a free kick just over the bar on the hour when Clarke drove a goal kick downfield.
Constable took it in his stride on the edge of the box and hammered a volley over Martin Rice and into the Torquay net.
Almost immediately the home side raced to the other end and saw a Callum Ball volley crash back off the bar.
Substitute Jordan Chapell pulled a goal back for Torquay after 68 minutes, forcing the ball over the line at the far post after a low, driven cross by Karl Hawley on the left.
Asa Hall gave Oxford back their two-goal advantage in the 77th minute, driving the ball home at the second attempt after being found by Constable.
Torquay tried to rally in the closing minutes but still it was Oxford who came closest to scoring again, Damon Lathrope diving in bravely to block a Deane Smalley shot.
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