Report: MK Dons 0-0 Oxford United
The men from MK1 went close on numerous occasions including through Kieran Agard and George C Williams in injury-time but they were unable to find a way past a stubborn U’s defence.
Karl Robinson named the same side that started the 1-1 draw with league leaders Bolton Wanderers last weekend.
The Dons started on top and Kieran Agard almost created a shooting opportunity but his touch from Dean Bowditch’s fantastic ball let him down.
After a great block from Joe Walsh to deny Joe Rothwell’s shot, Agard was again involved as he rounded Simon Eastwood but a covering defender did well to clear the danger.
Bowditch then forced a good save from Eastwood 20 yards out before, at the other end, David Martin did brilliantly to smother Wes Thomas’ close-range effort after a teasing cross from Marvin Johnson.
The lively tempo on the field was matched by the fans off it as the two sets of supporters showed their support for their sides in the first ever competitive meeting between Dons and Oxford.
Ryan Colclough forced Eastwood into gathering a cross after some good work down the left prior to Ben Reeves dragging an effort wide from 20 yards.
Eastwood’s opposite number Martin made a comfortable save to deny Rothwell on 34 minutes after the U’s midfielder had driven from midfield and let fly.
The chances kept on coming but Colclough couldn’t pick out a team-mate after again making space down the left-hand side.
After Ed Upson had seen a shot deflect behind, fellow midfielder Darren Potter forced a save with a close-range header from the resulting corner.
There was still time for Colclough and Reeves to rack up efforts on goal as the Dons continued to push for the opener right up until the half-time whistle.
Robinson’s men started the second half on the front foot with Colclough shooting over from 20 yards and Reeves seeing a header saved.
That pressure was maintained as the Dons enjoyed a good spell of pressure, forcing their opponents back and asking numerous questions.
However, they had Upson to thank for a superb block to deny Chris Maguire after referee Lee Probert had awarded an indirect free-kick inside the 18-yard box after a back-pass.
There was a real ebb and flow to the game now as both sides went in search of the opening goal – Paul Downing brilliantly blocking a Ryan Taylor shot before Charlie Raglan almost turned a dangerous Bowditch cross into his own net.
Martin made a strong save to thwart Johnson from distance with 73 minutes on the clock before he tipped over Liam Sercombe’s effort.
The Dons responded through substitute George C Williams, who drew a save from Eastwood 25 yards out, before Agard appeared to be brought down in a good position but Probert waved away the appeals.
Agard was put through on goal in injury-time but he shot straight at Eastwood before GC Williams headed wide in the dying seconds when well placed.
An encouraging performance - one which almost rewarded the home supporters with that desire home success.
Starting XI: Martin; Baldock, Walsh, Downing, Lewington (c); Potter, Upson; Colclough (Carruthers 63), Reeves (GC Williams 69), Bowditch; Agard.
Unused subs: Nicholls, GB Williams, Hendry, Maynard, Tshimanga.