Dave Kitson’s late equaliser denied Fleetwood Town all three points at Highbury this afternoon as the former Stoke City striker netted a minute from time.
Steven Schumacher opened the scoring for the Cod Army after twelve minutes for his fourth league strike of the campaign, as he curled a superb free kick beyond United keeper Ryan Clarke.
However, Kitson silenced the home supporters late on as he headed past Scott Davies, who had earlier denied Danny Rose from the penalty spot.
Graham Alexander made one change to the team that was defeated by Accrington Stanley in the Lancashire derby on Tuesday night, with Mark Roberts replacing Ryan Cresswell in defence.
Oxford headed into today’s clash with the Cod Army in first position, having picked up a couple of wins and a draw in their last three games.
Fleetwood started the game in positive fashion, and utilized the pace of striker Nathan Tyson early on as he was fed down the left and played a low cross which just evaded Gareth Evans at the back post.
With Town in control in the opening exchanges, it was no surprise that they took the lead after just twelve minutes thanks to Steven Schumacher.
Johnny Mullins brought Nathan Tyson down on the left, and Schumacher curled an exquisite free kick into the top right hand corner.
Tyson looked lively and was presented with a decent opportunity at the back post, but he fired over the Percy Ronson Stand.
Oxford began to come into the game a little after this, and twice went close through Ryan Williams and Johnny Mullins, but Fleetwood’s backline of Mark Roberts and Nathan Pond defended resolutely.
On the half hour mark, Schumacher should have doubled his and Fleetwood’s tally, but he fired over from all of six yards after some good work by Gareth Evans and Nathan Tyson.
An effort from Oxford’s Asa Hall was their only notable chance for the remaining of the half, but the on-loan Shrewsbury midfielder dragged his tame strike wide.
Town came out of the blocks flying at the beginning of the second period with Nathan Tyson playing in Gareth Evans, who saw his shot well saved by Ryan Clarke.
For the visitors, ex-Premier League striker Dave Kitson saw his goalbound shot superbly blocked by Nathan Pond and the ball fell kindly to David Hunt, but he blasted over.
The table toppers were beginning to pile a certain degree of pressure on the Cod Army defence, with Asa Hall firing narrowly wide of Scott Davies’ goal.
At this point, Chris Wilder’s side were the dominant team and should have equalized on 60 minutes, but Johnny Mullins missed from point blank range to let Fleetwood off the hook.
A neat cross on the outside of Antoni Sarcevic’s left foot was met by Nathan Tyson who rose highest in the box but could only head at Ryan Clarke.
Oxford’s Tom Newey then danced past a couple of Fleetwood challenges and unleashed a left footed drive which skimmed past the post.
Town were grateful to Scott Davies on 74 minutes as he produced a world class save to deny Dave Kitson from scoring with a header.
With a game a cagey affair, Graham Alexander introduced Emmanuel Dieseruvwe to the fray with thirteen minutes to go at the expense of Nathan Tyson who had looked lively all afternoon.
Immediately after, Scott Davies was the hero as he denied former Fleetwood man Danny Rose from the penalty spot.
Dave Kitson was brought down in the box under a challenge and referee Darren Bond pointed to the spot, but Davies guessed right and denied Rose from twelve yards.
However, in the 89th minute Kitson headed home at the back post to rescue a point for his side.