Oxford Utd 1 – 1 Stevenage

Oxford squandered a great opportunity to strengthen their bid to reach the play-offs when they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Stevenage.

It leaves them in sixth place in Sky Bet League One, three points ahead of Lincoln, who have a game in hand and superior goal difference.

Stevenage, who lost manager Steve Evans to Rotherham this week, held out for a point despite not having a shot on target – they scored through an own goal – and being under constant pressure.

Stevenage took the lead against the run of play in the 32nd minute when defender Sam Long, pressured by Kane Hemmings behind him, turned Nick Freeman’s left-wing cross into his own net.

The U’s felt they should have had a penalty when Ruben Rodrigues threaded a pass through to Marcus Browne, who looked to be fouled by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray in a race to reach the ball.

But referee Tom Nield ignored Oxford’s appeals for a spot-kick.

They were awarded one in the 58th minute, though, when Carl Piergianni brought down Rodrigues on the edge of the box after the Portuguese forward got goalside of him. Cameron Brannagan converted.

The home side dominated the first half, with MacGillivray saving Rodrigues’s fierce drive, Long glancing a header just wide at a corner, and Mark Harris nodding wide from a good position.

The second half saw much of the same, MacGillivray saving from Finn Stevens and from Josh Murphy when he raced through.

Stevenage nearly won it late on as Long cleared off the line and then a shot was deflected off a defender and against a post.

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