Nottingham Forest gems Brennan Johnson and Marcus McGuane both remain on course for a Wembley showdown in the EFL Trophy.
Johnson scored as Lincoln comfortably beat Accrington 4-0 to reach the quarter-final.
It was the 19-year-old’s seventh goal of an impressive campaign with several Reds supporters hoping to see him recalled.
Oxford were made to work harder for their victory.
They faced League Two outfit Cambridge United at the Kassam Stadium and edged through courtesy of Ryan Hall’s goal.
McGuane was introduced as a second-half substitute having been handed a rest by boss Karl Robinson.
Both loan stars will fancy their chances of winning the competition and reaching the final which typically takes place at Wembley.
Last season’s final between Portsmouth and Salford City is yet to be rearranged.
The EFL are hopeful that come the spring the tie can be played, however.
All Oxford and Lincoln can do is concentrate and this season and both will have aspirations of winning the competition.
Are McGuane and Johnson set for Forest chances?
You’d like to hope so at some point.
Johnson in particular is playing extremely well for a team challenging for promotion into the Championship.
That won’t have gone unnoticed in the eyes of Chris Hughton and he has a big decision to make this month.
If he feels Johnson can do a job back at the City Ground then he should be recalled.
What Forest shouldn’t do is get him back to sit on the bench.
That could see his development stall once again and it wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone.
McGuane is arguably a more intriguing case than Johnson.
The 21-year-old arrived at the City Ground from Barcelona and has two first-team appearances at Arsenal under his belt.
He will almost certainly see the season out at Oxford before trying to stake his claim for a place next season.
He is finally starting to hold down a place in Robinson’s team and that can only bode well for the future.
Both Johnson and McGuane could become Forest stars in future years.