Oxford United stretched their unbeaten run to five matches after a hard-fought 0-0 draw at home to Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.

In a game which saw just two efforts on target, both sides will probably be satisfied with their efforts in a battle of attrition on a desperate Kassam Stadium pitch.

Patrick Hoban had United's best two chances of the game, but twice blazed over from close in.

Plymouth will feel aggrieved after Reuben Reid hit both the bar and post with a header at the end of the first period.

But a share of the spoils was probably a fair reflection of the 90 minutes.

Oxford boss Michael Appleton made just one change from the side that beat Bury last week.

Callum O'Dowda, who came off the bench to score the winner at Gigg Lane, was handed a start in place of the suspended Danny Hylton.

After a scrappy start, United had a great chance to take a fifth-minute lead.

Josh Ruffels fired in a shot from 20 yards that he scuffed across goal and the on-rushing Hoban fired over from eight yards.

He should have done better.

The pitch was hindering both sides as they attempted to keep the ball on the deck, the area in front of the dug-outs particularly tricky to play on.

Neither side was able to sustain pressure for any long periods and the game was a scrappy affair.

Drew Talbot showed plenty of ability on the ball for Plymouth and he went close to opening the scoring on 35 minutes when he blasted a shot from 20 yards that whistled narrowly over Ryan Clarke's crossbar.

Hoban then wasted a second good chance of the game six minutes before the break.

Alex MacDonald did well down the right and when his cross wasn't cleared by the home defence, it dropped to Hoban eight yards out.

But he opted for power and blazed over the bar.

However, it was the visitors who felt aggrieved at not going into the break ahead.

In the final minute of the half, a header from Reid beat Clarke, but hit the bar and a post, bounced on the line, and spun to safety.

It was a big let-off for the U's, but on the balance of play, honours even at the break was probably fair.

United started the second half brightly, O'Dowda cutting inside and shooting well wide.

Soon after, Michael Collins and Johnny Mullins had efforts blocked.

The hosts were on the front foot and a sublime bit of thinking from MacDonald almost put them ahead.

The winger, who had switched to the left flank, was on the ball close to the bye-line in the box, but curled an effort towards the far post, and after catching the wind, grazed the upright as it went behind.

The visitors weathered some United pressure and then the game reverted to a midfield scrap.

Appleton sent on James Roberts in place of O'Dowda with 18 minutes to go, but it was Plymouth who were on the front foot.

When Reid hooked a shot goalwards in the 75th minute, Clarke's easy save was the first time a goalkeeper had made a stop all game.

Both sides looked for a breakthrough, but could not carve any clear-cut chances.

In fact, the nearest United came to a goal was with virtually the final kick of the game when Roofe fired in a shot that Luke McCormick held comfortably.

It was Oxford's only shot on target, but they were certainly value for their point.

Oxford Utd: Clarke, Baldock, Mullins, Wright, Skarz, Roofe, Collins, Ruffels, MacDonald (Rasulo 88), Hoban (Gnanduillet 88), O'Dowda (Roberts 72).

Subs not used: Ashdown, Dunkley, Long, Rose.

Plymouth Argyle (3-5-2): McCormick, Nelson, McHugh, Hartley, Mellor, B Reid (Lee 66) O'Connor, Talbot, Holmes-Dennis, R Reid (Brunt 81), Alessandra (Banton 66) Subs not used: Bittner, Purrington, Blizzard, Harvey.

Referee: Michael Bull.

Attendance: 8,057 (1290 from Plymouth)