Harrison earns Boro a valuable point at The Kassam...
Stevenage earned a valuable point at the Kassam Stadium as they came back from behind to draw 1-1 against Oxford.
Darren Sarll made three changes from the 3-2 defeat to Northampton with new signings, Bradley Pritchard and Keith Keane straight into the team whilst Dean Wells returned from injury to take his place in the heart of defence.
Stevenage started the game off on the front foot and looking dangerous without really testing the Oxford keeper. Dean Parrett had the first chance of the game but his near post shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Lundstram fired over from the edge of the box for the home side five minutes in but that was to be his last meaningful action of the game as a hefty challenge on Michael Tonge saw the U’s midfielder sent off after only 16 minutes.
Goal scoring opportunities were sparse in the first half for both teams with the golden chance for Boro falling to Luer about 40 minutes in. The striker linked up with his partner, Byron Harrison to find space in the box but he could only shoot wide of the far post.
Just a minute later though Oxford were awarded a penalty when Jamie Jones and Danny Hylton tangled in the box. Jones more than made up for it though with a smart save that kept out Oxford’s top scorer, Kemar Roofe.
Stevenage made a change at half-time with Tom Pett coming on for Michael Tonge but it was the home side that started the second half in control.
Despite missing the penalty, it didn’t take long for Roofe to make his mark on the game. A lung bursting run down the left was followed by a pin point ball into the centre for the on-running Liam Sercombe to open the scoring.
Oxford were to mount some serious pressure over the course of the next 10 minutes but not long after getting a grip on the ball again, Boro struck back.
Harrison drew the two sides level with a cool finish under the keeper after Luer found him with a clever reverse pass inside the area.
Boro grew in confidence as the half went on and began to control possession, Tom Conlon was brought on for Bradley Pritchard who received a standing ovation from the travelling fans on his debut.
Although plenty of free-kicks and corners were won for Stevenage during the closing stages, a winner seemed elusive as Oxford stood firm at the back.
As four minutes added time were indicated, Ryan Johnson came onto replace Dean Wells and neither side were able to find a late opening as the spoils were shared.
Oxford: Buchel, Dunkley, Wright, Mullins, Skarz, MacDonald (Ruffels 54), Lundstram, Sercombe, Roofe, Hylton, Bowery (Waring 76)
Subs not used: Slocombe, Giles, Long, Ashby, Maguire
Stevenage: Jones, Keane, Wilkinson, Wells (Johnson 90), Okimo, Gorman, Tonge (Pett 45), Pritchard (Conlon 79), Parrett, Luer, Harrison
Subs not used: Day, Whelpdale, Mulraney, Adams
Referee: Brendan Malone
Attendance: 7,980 (262 away)