Wycombe Wanderers suffered more late heartbreak as they lost 2-1 to Oxford United in an action-packed game at the Kassam Stadium.

The M40 derby certainly lived up to its billing as both sides look to avoid the dreaded League One trapdoor.

Josh Ruffles got the winner with a wonder strike, curling the ball home right into the top corner to spark wild scenes.

Wanderers took the lead on 20 minutes when Adam El-Abd tapped home after Joe Jacobson's free kick was missed by Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood.

Oxford equalised 10 minutes later when Jerome Sinclair smashed home from close-range after excellent wing play from Marcus Browne.

After that, the best chance fell to Jacobson on 37 minutes but he hit a penalty wide of the target after the excellent Alex Samuel was fouled in the box by Rob Dickie before Ruffels' winner.

It was a fairly even start to proceedings at a sun-kissed Kassam Stadium.

There were no real chances of note in the first 10-15 minutes with both sides enjoying a real scrap in midfield.

The first attempt on goal for Wanderers came on 13 minutes when Adebayo Akinfenwa expertly chested the ball down to Nick Freeman 20 yards out and his shot was deflected wide of the far post.

Wycombe were beginning to get in the ascendency and Freeman drove at goal on 15 minutes after picking up a loose pass from Cameron Brannigan but his tame shot was easily held by Eastwood.

The Chairboys then took the lead on 20 minutes when Jacobson’s free kick caused havoc in the penalty box. Eastwood flapped at the ball and skipper El-Abd steered it home.

Oxford were looking to respond and Curtis Nelson headed well over on 22 minutes from Josh Ruffels’ cross.

The home side did then get the equaliser on the half-hour when Browne got the better of Jacobson and his low cross was turned home by Jerome Sinclair.

Wanderers hit back from that Oxford goal and Freeman’s dangerous cross on 35 minutes just evaded Akinfenwa.

Two minutes later, Samuel got the better of Oxford defender Dickie and was felled in the box by the centre-half.

However, Jacobson lashed the spot kick wide much to the delight of the U’s faithful behind the goal.

The game was becoming quite open not and on 39 minutes, Wycombe failed to clear a corner and Dickie hooked over from 10 yards.

Oxford began the second half on the front foot when a poor pass from Dominic Gape was intercepted by Sam Long on 46 minutes and his shot from 20 yards was well parried by Yves Ma-Kalambay.

Wanderers had half-a-chance on 50 minutes when Jacobson’s raking free kick found an unmarked Marcus Bean in the area but his free header went straight at Eastwood.

The Blues were getting on top and the tireless Samuel won another free kick 22 yards out on 52 minutes but Jason McCarthy blasted his free kick into the wall.

Wanderers were building up a head of steam around the hour mark with Oxford desperately defending crosses into the box.

Oxford hit back and Dickie’s header was cleared off the line on 59 minutes by Gape.

Up the other end a minute later, Akinfenwa’s superb header smashed off the crossbar after a brilliant cross by Freeman.

The game simmered down slightly with 20 minutes to go as the tense atmosphere ratcheted up a notch.

Oxford were having a good spell but Wanderers were always in the game and Samuel and Freeman combined well on 79 minutes as the latter burst into the box but skied his effort high and wide.

Matt Bloomfield came on for the Chairboys and almost scored with his first touch on 82 minutes but his volley was blocked heroically by Ahmed Kashi.

The game was growing very tense with both sides not giving an inch.

Wycombe had a sniff on 89 minutes when Michael Harriman's free kick was headed across goal by Akinfenwa but Paris Cowan-Hall couldn't quite latch onto it.

However, Ruffels had the final say to condemn Wycombe to 10 games without a win.

WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Ma-Kalambay, McCarthy, El-Abd, Stewart, Jacobson (sub: Harriman, 57), Bean (sub: Bloomfield, 81), Thompson (sub: Cowan-Hall, 78), Gape, Freeman, Akinfenwa, Samuel: Subs: Allsop, Jombati, Kashket, Owens.

OXFORD UNITED: Eastwood, Long, Dickie, Nelson, Garbutt (sub: Sykes, 87), Kashi, Brannagan, Ruffels, Henry (sub: Mackie, 71), Browne (sub: Graham, 64), Sinclair. Subs: Stevens, Hanson, Mousinho, Lopes.

REFEREE: Simon Hooper

ATTENDANCE: 9,250 (Wycombe 1,716)