OXFORD United were held to a goalless draw in a match with few clear chances, particularly in the second half.

The result should probably come as no surprise given that the four encounters between the two teams this century have provided just one goal.

Karl Robinson had a handful of players unavailable to him, with Alex Gorrin’s ACL injury ruling him out for the foreseeable and Gavin Whyte on Northern Ireland duty.

They were joined by Jack Stevens (illness), Ben Davis and Sam Winnall (both ankle) on the absentee list.

Robinson made three changes from the side which drew 2-2 at home to Bristol Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup.

Two of those were forced – Gorrin and Whyte – while McGuane also dropped to the bench.

Herbie Kane, James Henry and Nathan Holland were chosen to step in.

There was little to choose between the two teams in the first half, with clear chances at a premium.

Ipswich had the first after just four minutes. Top scorer Macauley Bonne headed against the post from a corner.

Two minutes later came United’s first opening as Mark Sykes ran at the heart of the Ipswich backline and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box, however Christian Walton in the Ipswich goal got across to palm it away for a corner.

Not long after, Henry hooked a shot wide from just outside the box, with Jordan Thorniley heading over from a free kick with 11 minutes on the clock.

A couple of minutes later, Sam Long arrived from the right after good play on the left, but his shot was deflected into the arms of Walton.

Ipswich then hit the post again on 18 minutes, this time when Bersant Celina’s shot from the edge of the box cannoned off the woodwork, with Long sweeping up the rebound.

Sam Morsy saw Matty Taylor deflect a long-range strike over while Sykes again ran at the Ipswich defence yet this time, a block came in just as the midfielder was about to pull the trigger.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity came four minutes before the break when Nathan Holland found himself with time and space, however he took too much of that time when running into the box and Ipswich were able to block the winger’s route to goal.

Just before half-time, U’s boss Robinson joined Cameron Brannagan in the book.

The United midfielder had been shown a yellow for what seemed a very soft foul in the Ipswich half with the referee called over shortly afterwards to dish out a booking to Robinson.

The home side started the second half brightly with Simon Eastwood called into action in the opening stages.

Bonne found himself in space in the box and hit a low effort, which Eastwood got down to push away.

Celina then looked to bend one in from the edge of the box but his shot curled over.

Just after the hour mark, Kyle Edwards charged down the left and made his way into the box, however blazed over with his shot.

Ipswich substitute Conor Chaplin was straight into the action on 73 minutes, firing wide from the edge of the penalty area.

That proved to be the last of the goalmouth action as both teams nullified each other in the closing stages.

Ipswich Town (4-2-3-1): Walton; Donacien, Nsiala, Edmundson, Clements; Morsy, Evans; Burns (Aluko 70), Celina (Pigott 90+3), Edwards (Chaplin 70); Bonne.

Unused subs: Hladky, Burgess, Harper, Fraser.

Booked: Morsy, Clements

Oxford United (4-3-3): Eastwood; Long, Moore, Thorniley, Seddon; Henry (McGuane 70), Kane, Brannagan; Sykes, Taylor (Agyei 89), Holland (Williams 90+3).

Unused: Plumley, McNally, Forde, Bodin.

Booked: Brannagan

Referee: Scott Oldham (Lancashire)