OXFORD United twice led but may be satisfied to take a point from a feisty clash with Accrington Stanley.

Tariqe Fosu’s high-quality strike separated the sides at half-time, but the home side carried more of a threat after the break.

Jordan Clark equalised just before the hour, ending United’s 520-minute run without conceding.

Clark and Sam Finley saw efforts hit the woodwork, but the visitors were in front again when Cameron Brannagan’s thunderbolt found the net from 25 yards.

Accrington quickly responded through Offrande Zanzala to level the scores and while neither side settled for a point, there was no late breakthrough.

Karl Robinson made two changes to the starting line-up, bringing in Shandon Baptiste and Jamie Mackie.

Alex Gorrin dropped to the bench with the U’s wary of the midfielder incurring a suspension if he picked up a fifth booking, while Matty Taylor was the other man to make way.

Accrington’s playing surface was much improved from United’s last visit in February, but while it was to the visitors’ liking it took time for them to find a rhythm.

It was not helped by a reshuffle after only 14 minutes.

Woodburn had been scythed down by Callum Johnson right at the start and after trying to play on he eventually had to come off.

Forde replaced him, but aside from a weak 20-yard effort from Mackie there was little in the way of action in either box.

That was until the 28th minute, when United took the lead in the sort of style we have been getting used to in recent weeks.

Fosu collected the ball on the left corner of Accrington’s box and cut inside. He faked to shoot several times, prompting a succession of defenders to commit themselves.

Just when it looked like the winger had delayed too long, he pulled the trigger with a shot which beat goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov and went in via the upright.

It came right in front of the 486 travelling fans, who celebrated a 17th goal without reply.

Accrington pushed for a quick equaliser and had a strong appeal for a penalty on Mark Hughes, but the referee disagreed.

Stanley struggled to break United down, with Rob Dickie in particular looking commanding. They were not helped by some indifferent finishing, Dion Charles slicing one free-kick near the corner flag.

Most of the action was crammed into the final few minutes of the half.

United were forced into a second change when Forde, who had been on the pitch less than half an hour, limped off to be replaced by Gorrin.

Fosu came close to a second goal with a wonderfully-hit free-kick from almost 30 yards which Evtimov parried for a corner.

Stanley’s best chance of the half quickly followed. Jordan Clark cut into the U’s box and his powerful shot squirmed out of Simon Eastwood’s grasp, but Chris Cadden was on hand to deal with the loose ball.

That came in first-half stoppage-time, which was extended following a feisty clash between Jerome Opoku and James Henry. United’s top scorer reacted to a challenge and the pair were involved in an aggressive confrontation not far from the two benches.

It could have seen both players sent off, but after lengthy consultation referee Martin Coy opted for yellow cards.

The break allowed tempers to cool – and Stanley looked more dangerous when play restarted.

Zanzala replaced Charles and helped give the hosts a better cutting edge.

They were level just before the hour mark, when Eastwood lost out to Ross Sykes in the air from Joe Pritchard’s free-kick and Clark nodded into an empty net.

It was the first goal United had conceded in more than eight hours of football, but their defence was almost breached again.

Sam Finley rattled the post after Henry had given the ball away cheaply, while Clark quickly clipped Eastwood’s crossbar from an acute angle.

But after riding their luck, United responded with a moment of class when Brannagan smashed a 25-yard shot which gave Evtimov no chance.

The lead lasted only four minutes, though, as Zanzala equalised with a sweetly-struck low shot from range.

Accrington had the better chances in the closing stages and United needed Eastwood to make an excellent save to deny Pritchard’s first-time effort five minutes from time.

The closest either side came to a winner was in the final seconds, when Josh Ruffels had a shot blocked on the line.

But Evitimov came up with a good block to prevent Matty Taylor from claiming maximum points.

Accrington Stan (4-4-2): Evtimov, Johnson, Hughes, Sykes, Opoku, Clark, Finley, Conneely, Pritchard, Bishop, Charles (Zanzala HT).

Unused subs: Bursik, Edwards, Sherif, Carvalho, Alese, Diallo.

Booked: Finley, Johnson, Opoku, Clark, Conneely.

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Eastwood, Cadden, Dickie, Mousinho, Ruffels, Brannagan, Baptiste, Woodburn (Forde 14, Gorrin 42), Henry, Mackie (Taylor 77), Fosu.

Unused subs: Stevens, Long, Moore, Hall.

Booked: Henry, Mackie, Brannagan, Taylor.

Referee: Martin Coy (Co Durham).

Attendance: 2,590 (486 visitors).