OXFORD United were unable to prise apart a stubborn York City defence as the Kassam Stadium's largest attendance of the season watched a frustrating goalless draw.

The 9,406 spectators had to wait until the second half for a clear chance, which was wasted by Joe Skarz shortly after the restart.

United improved with the introduction from the bench of rested pair Danny Hylton and Patrick Hoban after the hour mark.

Hoban mis-kicked as another opening went begging and York were otherwise relatively untroubled as they held on for a point.

The result meant United were unable to make it three wins in a row, but did take them to the 50-point mark - 11 clear of the relegation zone with five games still remaining.

Michael Appleton hinted before the game he would make changes and the head coach's XI showed two alterations from the 3-2 win at Wycombe Wanderers on Good Friday.

Kyle Vassell was handed his first United start, while Alex MacDonald returned after a two-game suspension.

The winger came in on the right, so Kemar Roofe was moved up alongside Vassell, as Hylton and Hoban dropped to the bench.

In contrast to the intensity of the clash at Adams Park three days' earlier, there was little to get supporters off their seats in the first half.

Instead the game meandered in the spring sunshine, with very little goalmouth action in the opening 45 minutes.

The sum total of York's efforts before the break were two shots wildly off target from Michael Coulson and Jake Hyde.

United saw plenty of the ball, but largely struggled to make headway once they crossed into the Minstermen half.

Their only joy came when the ball was moved quickly.

Kemar Roofe, full of confidence after a brace at Wycombe, was at the heart of the hosts' best moments.

Midway through the half, he found space on the right and whipped in a cross which a flying Danny Rose could only glance wide.

United began to stir themselves as the half wore on and the only shot on target at either end came nine minutes before the break.

Roofe again provided the spark, running at the York defence. His dribble was only halted by a foul, but referee Nigel Miller played advantage so Vassell could get a shot away, which goalkeeper Michael Ingham caught comfortably.

The fact that was the highlight of the half explained why some fans in the North Stand started playing with a beach ball.

But within two minutes of the restart United should have taken the lead.

From a Michael Collins free-kick the ball dropped for Skarz, who dragged a shot wide from eight yards.

It set the tone for a livelier start to the half for both sides.

Having failed to win a corner in the first half, York won five in 11 minutes - a sequence which saw Collins head one off the line and Dave Winfield nod another over.

United still needed an injection of inspiration and just after the hour Appleton undid his changes to bring Hylton and Hoban on for Vassell and MacDonald.

It had the desired effect and the home side suddenly began to play with more vibrancy.

Both were involved in a move which carved out a great chance 17 minutes from time.

Hylton latched on to a long ball from Skarz and played in Roofe to drive into the penalty area and cut back for Hoban, who missed his kick six yards out.

Another neat move five minutes later saw Hoban cleverly chest Skarz's chipped cross to Rose, who volleyed wide from an acute angle.

Josh Ruffels had the two best openings in the closing stages, curling one shot which was saved by Ingham, who also held on to a flicked header from the midfielder in stoppage time.

A goalless draw was scant reward for the big crowd, but with results elsewhere going their way it effectively confirmed United will be playing in Sky Bet League Two next season.

Oxford Utd (4-4-2): Clarke, Baldock, Mullins, Wright, Skarz, Roofe, Collins, Ruffels, Rose, MacDonald, Vassell.

Subs used: Hylton (MacDonald 62), Hoban (Vassell 62), O'Dowda (Rose 78).

Unused subs: Ashdown, Long, Dunkley, Whing.

Booked: None.

York City (3-4-3): Ingham, Lowe, Winfield, McCombe, Halliday, Penn, Summerfield (Platt 78), Zubar, Coulthirst, Hyde, Coulson.

Unused subs: Mooney, McCoy, Montrose, Meikle, Miller, O’Hanlon.

Booked: Winfield.

Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham).

Attendance: 9,406 (422 visitors).