Oxford could not find the net for the third game in succession as their biggest home support for 20 years went home frustrated.

But the Nationwide Conference leaders at least gave a much-improved second-half performance after looking average at best in a poor opening 45 minutes.

Woking's persistent attempts at time-wasting were punished by West Midlands referee Oli Langford forcing them to play six minutes of stoppage time at the end, but despite strong pressure, the U's simply couldn't force the ball over the line.

Highly-rated Iraqi-born keeper Shwan Jalal pulled off two superb saves to deny the league leaders, who were lifted by Jim Smith's double half-time substitution.

He brought on Yemi Odubade and Eddie Hutchinson, and the home side immediately looked more threatening going forward, with the hard-working Odubade sparking them into life.

Within seconds of coming on, the former Eastbourne striker won a free-kick, and from Andy Burgess's delivery, Rob Duffy headed on and Hutchinson, coming in at full pelt on the far post, looked a certain scorer as he headed the ball goalwards from five yards out. But Jalal arched to turn it over the bar.

Jalal then flicked over a Duffy shot and somehow kept out a low, near-post shot from Odubade after a scintillating run along the right from the sub.

But should Jalal have stayed on the pitch?

With 17 minutes left, Odubade burst through on the left and tried to chip the ball over the Woking keeper who reached up with his hands three yards outside the area to save, and then clattered Odubade to the ground for good measure.

Home supporters implored the ref to award a free-kick and send the keeper off, but the official seemed to freeze, and simply allowed play to go on.

Shots continued to pepper the Woking goal. Matt Day, Hutchinson and Barry Quinn all went close but some of the shooting was desperate and snatched-at rather than composed and of any real quality.

Woking had come into the game with just one win out of eight, but they had occasional opportunities on the counter-attack as United's efforts failed.

Jamie Taylor wriggled through on the right edge of the box ten minutes from time, and Billy Turley did well to stand up to him and then save with his foot.

Taylor had also driven wide with an impressive 15-yard volley earlier in the half but these were brief incursions into the home half against a second-half Oxford bombardment.

The giant yellow flag conceived and bought by the Oxford fans was unveiled before kick-off and, following the promptings of community officer Peter Rhoades-Brown on the pitchside microphone, supporters passed it along the entire length of the Oxford Mail Stand.

Basham had returned to the starting line-up as Jim Smith went back to the wingbacks system, with John Dempster given the job of defensive midfielder, sitting in front of the back three.

Woking started the brighter and in the opening ten minutes, United found it hard to get out of their own half.

The home side were trying to play more on the counter-attack, and Eddie Hutchinson's brother, Tom, was booked for bringing down Basham to prevent one raid.

Instead of Burgess crossing the free-kick, he played it short for long-range shooting specialist Day to have a blast, and he did just that. The effort almost resulted in a goal as it deflected and Duffy was nearly able to turn it in from an acute angle.

At the other end, Turley was being kept on his toes, Craig McAllister forcing a save from him and then Tom Hutchinson glancing a header wide from Daniel Bunce's left-wing cross.

Overall in the first half, though, Oxford were struggling to play with their early-season vitality, and frequent misplaced passes brought groans of frustration from the home fans in a record gate for the Conference.

Dempster tried to drive his teammates forward with one surging run that ended with a shot over the bar, and in an untidy scramble, Rufus Brevett was denied by Jalal saving at his feet.

Woking's players were guilty of constant time-wasting, and some cynicism, such as when Goma Lambu scythed down Carl Pettefer to prevent the U's breaking at pace - for which he was booked.

Although they hadn't played well, United had a great opportunity to end the first half with a goal as eddie Anaclet's centre from the right went over Duffy's head and Burgess controlled it on his body to leave him with just Jalal to beat, but weakly sliced his right-footer across goal.

The second half was as exciting as the first had been dull, but United are in desperate need of someone with an eye for a goal, and at the moment it's just not happening.

It should have come in the fifth of the six added minutes. Burgess crossed beautifully from the left, Duffy rose above his marker, but planted his header narrowly wide of the far post.