Oxford United earned a well deserved point in their first match back in the Football League for four years.

In a game of few goalscoring chances at Burton's Pirelli Stadium, they looked marginally the stronger side.

With defences on top, neither keeper had many saves to make, Ryan Clarke's stop from Shaun Harrad in the first half the closest either side went to breaking the deadlock.

It was 51 months since United's last match in the Football League, against Leyton Orient on that heartbreaking May 6 2006.

Chris Wilder's men started strongly and Asa Hall fired in the game's first shot, a snapshot from 25 yards which fizzed wide.

Harry Worley, who got the nod ahead of Mark Creighton at centre half, cuts an imposing figure anyway at 6ft 4in, and he immediately looked authoritative in the manner he headed the ball clear.

But the big man got an early booking, for a late challenge on Greg Pearson when Burton broke quickly.

The U's had a spell where they passed it very well, and moved the ball around smartly from left to right, but the final ball invariably let them down.

However, Albion were guilty of giving away possession far more times than them.

Simon Heslop had a long-range drive clip off John McGrath to bring the visitors a corner, but they could make nothing of it.

It was 32 minutes before Burton managed a penetrating attack and it nearly brought them the breakthrough.

Pearson slipped past one United defender with ease on the edge of the area, and touched it to his right where Shaun Harrad's low shot was superbly saved by Ryan Clarke, low to his left.

Oxford retaliated with Matt Green setting up Hall for a difficult shot, which he blazed over.

When the second half got under way, Oxford didn't take long to press again.

Damian Batt's overlapping run forced a corner, and when that was flighted over by Simon Heslop, Jack Midson met it with a powerful volley, but couldn't keep the effort below the bar.

There was a terrific tackle by Dannie Bulman on Harrad when he darted into the box.

As it opened up and play became more stretched, the U's seemed to sense that one goal might be enough to settle the contest.

From Batt's excellent cross, Hall arrived beyond the far post with a downward header that forced keeper Adam Legzdins into his first real save.

A superb driving run from Heslop, and incisive pass, gave Hall a great opportunity, but Hall couldn't beat Legzdins with his instant low shot.

Heslop began to run the show in the second half, when Sam Deering and Danny Philliskirk came on to add more energy.

Oxford Utd: (4-3-3) Clarke; Batt, Worley, Wright, Tonkin; Heslop, Bulman, Hall, Green (Deering 61), Constable, Midson (Philliskirk 66). Subs not used: Creighton, Clist, Baker, Eastwood, Franks.

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

Att: 4,321.

Booked: Worley, Constable.