Oxford United and AFC Wimbledon picked up a point apiece this afternoon with a 0-0 draw that stretched the U's unbeaten run to four and maintained their remarkable record of never having lost to the Dons.
It took a couple of minutes before Danny Hylton had the first effort of the match, a rising effort that flew a yard over the bar, but the U's were on top in the opening period and looking good on a sunny spring afternoon. Hylton's strike-partner Patrick Hoban had a decent effort on 21 fly just over as he tried to guide a Kemar Roofe cross on target but the U's looked dangerous, with midfield duo Danny Rose and Andy Whing driving them forward.
At the other end Jamie Ashdown, on his United debut, looked very assured but should have been tested for the first time after 12 minutes when Adebayo Akinfenwa met a Francomb free kick, only to plant his header well wide of the mark from a great position. That chance apart, Ashdown remained untested until Sean Rigg caught a volley on the full and drilled his shot at goal. Ashdown was equal to it, flying to his right to get a hand to the ball to make a superb save and show everyone what a good goalkeeper he is.
Hoban's afternoon lasted just past the half hour before he hobbled off to be replaced by Kyle Vassell up front but it was Roofe who almost made something from nothing on 43 with United's best effort of the half, a curling effort from 22 yards that whistled just the wrong side of the left-hand post with home keeper James Shea helpless.
The second half started with a sickening fall for home centre-half Adedeji Oshilaja, who clambered over the top of Danny Hylton and came down on his neck. Totally accidental but a bad looking injury that saw him leave on a stretcher after seven minutes of treatment; our best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.
The game understandably lost some of its momentum as a result of that hold up, although there was almost a goal from the recalled Whing who somehow found himself bursting through from midfield with the Wimbledon defence in his wake. Three of his six professional goals have won Goal of the Season and perhaps that influenced Whing's decision to try and chip the keeper from 30 yards, his effort comfortably caught by Shea.
With nine minutes to go, Hylton galloped away on to a Vassell through ball but couldn't beat Shea as his dinked effort was touched just wide, then with four left the Dons had an effort wiped out for offside before Ashdown ensured his debut was a clean sheet by clawing away a Rigg header at the back post. He may well be the only one to remember this game for long in the grand scheme of things...
Another point to move United on to 51 and all but assure that the two teams will meet again next season in League 2.
Report by Chris Williams, Pictures by Darrell Fisher, Stats by OPTA
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