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Oxford United 1 (Constable 24) Rochdale 1 (Lund 50)
OXFORD United stretched their unbeaten start to the league season to five games as the points were shared with Rochdale.
James Constable put the home side in front, smashing in a rebound when Danny Rose's shot was parried.
But United were unable to build on the advantage and Matthew Lund equalised early in the second half.
Substitute Tyrone Marsh came closest to restoring the lead, but Josh Lillis made a good save to earn a point.
Deane Smalley was still suffering from a hamstring problem, but Dave Kitson was restored to the starting line-up despite suffering from a sickness bug in the only change from the 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers a week earlier.
He came in up front alongside Constable, so Alfie Potter switched out to the right flank in place of Scott Davies, who dropped to the bench.
The hosts had struggled to find a rhythm against Wycombe, but their tempo was much higher from the outset.
Andy Whing, who scored a spectacular goal when the sides met in April, was the first to exert Lillis, who palmed clear the midfielder's wicked cross.
Both sides looked to keep the ball on the floor where possible and Dale were particularly patient in possession.
United dropped deep and while it made them a difficult unit to break down, it gave the visitors space.
Ian Henderson nearly made them pay on ten minutes with a shot from range which only just flew off target.
The hosts looked the more dangerous going forward, though.
Kitson, Constable and Asa Hall all had sights of goal without testing Lillis before the opening goal arrived on 24 minutes.
A neat move saw David Hunt swing in a deep cross, which Hall did well to keep alive with a header.
It found Rose, who showed great technique to control and shoot in one movement. The stinging volley was well saved by Lillis, but the ball fell to Constable, who gratefully pounced on the chance to score.
Rochdale had lost all their away games 1-0 this season, but falling behind did not appear to dent their confidence.
George Donnelly almost caught out Ryan Clarke on 32 minutes with a low shot which the U's goalkeeper saw late but held well.
The game grew scrappy in the final ten minutes of the half, with Hall and Whing both booked.
United nearly made a fast start when play resumed.
Within a minute Potter pinched the ball in Rochdale's half and briefly it was two-on-one, but a poor pass for Constable killed the danger.
It was the last chance the hosts had to make it 2-0, as Dale equalised on 50 minutes.
Rhys Bennett got to the byline and hung a cross up the back post, where Lund climbed above Hunt to head home.
Boosted by the goal, the visitors grew in confidence and one move got the home fans increasingly agitated as United were unable to stem the flow of passes.
Chris Wilder turned to his bench and brought on Marsh for Kitson midway through the half.
It almost proved an inspired move, as the young striker had a glorious chance shortly after coming on.
Rose, who had another excellent game, split the defence to pick out Marsh in space. His control was precise, but Lillis did well to race out and block the shot.
The ball bounced to Constable, whose shot was cleared off the line.
Neither side was content to settle for a point as the game moved into the final 15 minutes.
The victory was there for the taking in a tense finale, but the goalkeepers were relatively untested.
United had scored deep into stoppage time through Johnny Mullins to earn a point and there was a sense of déjà vu when the defender met a corner, but he was off balance and could only steer his header wide.
Oxford Utd: Clarke, Hunt, Mullins, Wright, Newey, Potter, Whing, Rose, Hall, Constable, Kitson (Marsh 68).
Unused subs: Crocombe, Raynes, Ruffels, Williams, Davies, O'Dowda.
Rochdale: Lillis, Bennett, Lancashire, O'Connell, Rose, Vincenti, Lund (Hery 73), Barry-Murphy, Henderson, Donnelly, Hogan (Done 86).
Unused subs: Thomson, Eastham, Gray, Vidal, Bunney.
Referee: Frederick Graham (Essex).
Attendance: 5,260 (203 visitors).
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