MORECAMBE were denied a second successive 1-0 away win by a late Oxford goal.
The Shrimps produced an excellent display and looked to be heading for the points after an early opener from Kevin Ellison but George Baldock earned Michael Appleton’s side a share of the spoils with a fine individual goal just three minutes from time.
It could have been worse for the Shrimps but Ryan Edwards cleared a Patrick Hoban effort off the line and Andreas Arestidou saved sharply from James Roberts’s follow up to keep a hold of the point which they fully deserved.
Boss Jim Bentley made three changes to the starting line up with Andy Wright making a welcome return after four months out and recalls for Jamie Devitt and Andy Fleming.
And the changes had a positive effect as the Shrimps dominated the early stages and dominated.
They were rewarded with the opening goal as Kevin Ellison gave the Shrimps the lead on 11 minutes with his 50th goal for the club.
Jack Redshaw created the opening with a right footed shot from 10 yards out that was well saved by Ryan Clarke but Ellison was in the perfect place to slot home the loose ball from six yards out.
From there Morecambe caused the home side all sorts of problems. Ellison flashed a shot inches wide of the right hand post on 13 minutes and Jamie Devitt volleyed wide from the edge of the area.
The Shrimps looked to have been denied a penalty on 23 minutes when Redshaw was bundled over the box after a well worked free kick saw him looked set for a free run on goal.
It proved to be a turning moment of the half as Michael Appleton’s side began to take charge.
Danny Hylton fired straight at Andreas Arestidou on 36 minutes from 10 yards when he should have done much better before Josh Ruffels headed against the Morecambe crossbar from Alex McDonald’s right wing cross with Arestidou beaten.
The second half saw Oxford enjoy the majority of the possession but struggle to threaten the Morecambe defence.
Substitute Kemar Roofe causes a few problems but the only effort of any note was a Joe Skarz cross come shot that was saved by Arestidou.
Oxford: Clarke, Baldock, Mullins, Wright, Skarz, Collins, Ruffels, O’Dowda (rep Roofe 65), Hoban, McDonald (rep Roberts 79), Hylton (rep Gnanduillet 64). Subs not used: Ashdown, Rose, Long, Dunkley.
Morecambe: Arestidou, Parrish, Hughes, Edwards, Beeley, Fleming, Wright (rep Goodall 58), Wilson, Devitt(rep Amond 73) Redshaw (rep Mullin 79), Ellison. Subs not used: Stewart, McGowan, Kenyon, Williams.