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Oxford Utd 1 (Williams 78), Cheltenham Tn 1 (Cureton 84)
OXFORD United's winless run was extended to five games as Jamie Cureton struck six minutes from time to earn a draw for Cheltenham Town at the Kassam Stadium.
The veteran striker deflected a shot into the net to cruelly deny the home side, who had looked to be on course to record a precious victory.
After creating several chances before the break, they finally went ahead with a fine finish from Ryan Williams in the 78th minute.
But the lead did not last as they were pegged back and despite a late flourish, a winner was not forthcoming.
Caretaker manager Mickey Lewis promised there would be changes after Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Burton Albion and he was true to his word.
Josh Ruffels came into midfield and he was joined by Johnny Mullins as Danny Rose and Nicky Wroe dropped to the bench, where Andy Whing was a surprise inclusion after four months out with a groin injury.
Mullins' move forward promoted Michael Raynes, while up front David Connolly replaced the injured Dave Kitson.
The games was very cagey to begin with, as United looked to avoid a repeat of Saturday's poor first half.
It took fully 20 minutes before the first chance of any kind was created. David Connolly drilled in a superb cross from the right which James Constable met firmly with a header which flew just wide.
Ruffels began sluggishly but warmed to his task and the youngster almost unlocked the door with a free-kick eight minutes later.
The midfielder's delivery picked out Constable at the back post, where the striker opted to head back across goal for Connolly, who had a shot deflected wide.
Constable was used on the left side of a four-man midfield, but he looked to take the game by the scruff of its neck ten minutes before the break.
The No 9 pounced on a loose ball in United's half and burst forward, riding three challenges through the middle to open up Cheltenham. He played Deane Smalley in on goal, but a heavy touch allowed goalkeeper Scott Brown to rush out and smother the opportunity.
United were not at their best, but they were the better side.
Cheltenham were neat on the ball but aside from a long range effort by ex-U's midfielder Sam Deering which Ryan Clarke saved easily, they did not stretch the hosts' back four.
Constable fizzed a shot just over in stoppage time as United headed to the changing room encouraged by their efforts.
Williams, who had been quiet in the first half, had the first sight of goal after the restart.
Latching on to a clever pass from David Hunt, the Australian ran across goal before firing a left-footed shot which Brown saved.
It was the best opening for a lengthy spell as United struggled to exercise the sort of control on the game they had enjoyed before the break.
Cheltenham grew bolder as the game grew increasingly stretched as the half wore on.
Terry Gornell swivelled and had a shot deflected just off target. From the resulting corner United failed to clear and Matt Richards drove a shot wide.
They came even closer 16 minutes from time when Cureton, on as a substitute, flicked a header which grazed the post.
It was an important moment, as United promptly went up the other end and opened the scoring.
Williams forced an error and ran on before burying a low shot from 20 yards which went in via the post.
The home side suddenly looked brighter, but they were only ahead for six minutes.
Alfie Potter conceded a free-kick on Cheltenham's right flank and the delivery fell to Zack Kotwica, whose shot was deflected by Cureton wide of a stranded Clarke and into the net.
United quickly went in search of a dramatic late winner.
They came close with Constable and Connolly having efforts superbly blocked, but the wait for a win goes on.
Oxford Utd (4-4-2): Clarke, Hunt, Raynes, Wright, Newey, Williams, Mullins, Ruffels, Constable, Smalley, Connolly.
Subs used: Potter (Smalley 73) Unused subs: Henly, Rigg, Whing, Rose, Davies, Wroe.
Cheltenham (4-2-3-1): S Brown, Ihiekwe, T Brown, Elliott, Jombati, Deering (Kotwica 74), Richards, McGlashan, Gornell, Vincent (Noble 60), Harrison (Cureton 60).
Unused subs: Taylor, Roberts, Braham-Barrett, Brundle.
Booked: McGlashan, Ihiekwe
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