A 0-0 home draw is not usually cause for optimism, but there was a lot to like about Oxford United’s stalemate with Wycombe Wanderers.

The 7,577 home supporters who paid for a ticket will probably disagree, as they did not see much in the way of style during an attritional 90 minutes.

If there was ever any doubt that Wycombe would set out to claim a point, it disappeared when the line-ups were announced.

Jack Grimmer was pushed forward from the back three to replace the more attacking Sullay Kaikai at right wing back, allowing The Chairboys to field an extra defender.

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Wycombe showed early on they would slow the game down whenever possible and the ball probably spent less time in play than any U's match so far this season.

They successfully disrupted United’s rhythm and got in their faces – but the hosts went toe-to-toe all over the pitch.

The U’s knew the weaknesses that cost them at AFC Wimbledon the previous weekend would be tested, particularly set-pieces, but they coped well.

Luke McNally will not get many tougher tests during his first season in English football and his physical attributes served him well against Sam Vokes and Brandon Hanlan.

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Teams who stay the course in a promotion battle must be able to dig in for the hard-fought draws and victories, especially against sides who are direct rivals for the top six.

It was just a shame United could not create more openings, with two Cameron Brannagan efforts from range after the break the closest they came.

As against Wimbledon, the decision-making was still a little off - that becomes even more apparent against a side who give you so little.

You felt sorry for Matty Taylor, who was well-marshalled by Wycombe's centre backs and barely got a sight of goal all afternoon.

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The U’s were much less vulnerable from set-pieces into their own penalty area, but too many corners and free-kicks at the other end failed to beat the first man.

The stalemate means United lose their 100 per cent home record, but they are still unbeaten at the Kassam Stadium and a second clean sheet of the campaign is welcome.

The U’s slipped two places to tenth, but they avoided back-to-back defeats that would have made a good August seem a very long time ago.