OXFORD United suffered a disappointing night as basement boys Bolton Wanderers picked up only their second point of the season.

The visitors were odds-on to claim their first away win of the campaign before kick-off, but it rapidly became clear it would not be a straightforward evening.

Will Buckley hit the crossbar in an energetic opening spell where a disjointed United pushed their luck.

After weathering the early storm Karl Robinson’s side got into the game, but lacked a spark in attacking areas.

The closest they came to breaking the deadlock was a James Henry shot in the second half which deflected on to the far post.

And with Bolton not tiring in the way they did in Saturday’s 6-1 drubbing at Rotherham United, there was no late push for a winner.

A back spasm ruled Jamie Mackie out, so Matty Taylor came into the starting line-up in the only change to the XI from Saturday.

Wanderers were playing their first home league game since the takeover which secured their status and they looked in a hurry to make up for lost time.

Any suggestions they would be a pushover vanished within an opening 20-minute period where they found space and created chances with ease.

Buckley was instrumental on his debut, setting up Thibaud Verlinden after only five minutes for a great chance which was thwarted by a last-ditch Rob Dickie block.

After Ali Crawford had a free-kick saved by Simon Eastwood, the best chance of the spell fell to Buckley.

He sprung the United offside trap in the 17th minute to race clear and beat the goalkeeper, only to see his shot rebound off the crossbar.

The visitors were all over the place and needed Eastwood to parry another Verlinden shot, while Jason Lowe fired narrowly wide as the procession continued.

United were hanging on and even when Cameron Brannagan sent Taylor through, the chance disappeared when the striker trod on the ball.

A better spell did follow, though.

Tariqe Fosu blazed a free-kick over the bar in a ten-minute burst which saw the visitors force several corners.

Wanderers goalkeeper Remi Matthews was untested until the stroke of half-time, when he got down well to keep out a Fosu shot which had been flicked by Rob Dickie in a crowded penalty area following a corner.

United would still have been happier to hear the half-time whistle and went on to force the first chance of the second half.

Chris Cadden swapped passes with James Henry and whipped in a cross which Brannagan did well to head on target, but Matthews turned the ball round his near post.

United’s big hope would have been on Bolton’s new-look side tiring as the night went on.

But while the crowd was modest, their enthusiasm kept the hosts’ energy levels up and the dangerous Verlinden forced another save from Eastwood with a powerful 20-yard effort.

The deadlock was almost broken 17 minutes from time by a slice of luck.

James Henry was given space outside the box and his low shot from range took a deflection which left Matthews stranded but it clipped the outside of the far post.

It was as close as either side came in the latter stages, as the shares were spoiled.

Bolton Wand (4-3-3): Matthews, Emmanuel, Hobbs, Wright, Chicksen, Lowe, Bridcutt, Crawford, Politic, Buckley, Verlinden (Weir 82).

Unused subs: Alnwick, Murphy, Weir, Darcy, Zouma, Brown, Senior.

Booked: Hobbs, Politic.

Oxford Utd (4-2-3-1): Eastwood, Cadden, Dickie, Mousinho, Ruffels, Brannagan, Gorrin, Henry, Woodburn (Forde 66), Fosu (Hall 88), Taylor (Agyei 78).

Unused subs: Stevens, Long, Thorne, Sykes.

Booked: None.

Referee: Paul Marsden (Lancashire).

Attendance: 6,786 (364 visitors).