Northampton and Oxford fire blanks in stalemate
Northampton missed a penalty and both goalkeepers were in fine form as they played out a goalless stalemate with Oxford at Sixfields.
Northampton had the better of a scrappy first half in which both defences were on top and chances were few and far between.
Aaron Phillips tested Simon Eastwood with a long-range shot and Marc Richards headed onto the roof of the net for the Cobblers. Matt Taylor's free-kick was also deflected over and from his ensuing corner, the unmarked Zander Diamond headed over.
Michael Smith headed wide for the hosts before Oxford began to offer more of a threat in the final third as the half progressed. Conor McAleny curled an effort wide, Antonio Martinez fired over and Phil Edwards tested Adam Smith.
After the restart Liam Sercombe fired wide for Oxford before Northampton missed a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty, only for Taylor's spot-kick to be superbly saved by Eastwood.
Northampton still sensed the breakthrough but Richards fired into the side-netting and Paul Anderson failed to convert from Phillips' excellent cross.
Sercombe tried to catch out Smith with a lob but the keeper did well to claim the ball. Oxford had a couple of good chances late on as Curtis Johnson had a shot tipped onto the bar by Smith before he foiled Kane Hemmings late on.