Dean Holdsworth saluted Adam Mekki after the 22-year-old came off the bench to fire in an equaliser and earn Aldershot a 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium.

Mekki lofted a fine right-footed shot over U's keeper Ryan Clarke five minutes from time to cancel out Adam Chapman's first-half goal.

Holdsworth said: "You want all your subs to make an impact, and I was delighted with Mekki. He's been injured and a bit out of form but that showed what he can do.

"Our performance was very, very pleasing and that's six unbeaten on the road now, which is very good. I thought we were the better side and played some really good stuff.

"We had one moment of leaving someone unmarked which we were punished for, but at half-time we regrouped and bossed the second half. Oxford made their changes very early, and that's testament to the way we were playing."

Holdsworth felt a point was the least the Shots deserved. "I think we could have had two penalties," he insisted. "The referee's consistency with bookings was very poor and that will be reflected in my marking on Monday."

Chapman had put Oxford in front in the 33rd minute with a low shot from 22 yards after a good lay-off by James Constable. But Oxford created little else in the match, with Alfie Potter and Sean Rigg slicing wide from good positions and Aldershot keeper Jamie Young having few shots to save.

U's boss Chris Wilder felt his players had been drained by the miles they had travelled with away cup-ties at Accrington and Plymouth, and last week's tragic death of former Oxford player Mitchell Cole at the age of 27.

The teams, and spectators, staged a minute's applause for Cole before kick-off. Wilder said: "We're disappointed we didn't get all three points, but it's been a hell of a week. We've been travelling hundreds and hundreds of miles and the players have gone through a lot this week - they're human beings.

"The last 15 minutes the boys were dead on their feet. We've not done enough to win this game, there wasn't enough quality or energy from us. We should have held on but we got pushed back."