OXFORD United claimed a point in a pulsating clash away at fellow Sky Bet League One promotion hopefuls Blackpool.

Matt Pennington gave the home side the lead when he headed in following a corner, but United found a leveller three minutes later through a corner of their own, when Mark Harris finished inside the six-yard box.

The U’s were unable to find a late winner though, stretching their winless run to five games.

Des Buckingham made two changes to the side which drew 1-1 at home to Reading, as Jamie Cumming and Sam Long replaced Simon Eastwood and Stephan Negru, who was left out of the matchday squad.

Billy Bodin, Josh Murphy and Will Goodwin all returned from injury and were named on the bench.

The opening exchanges were shy on goalmouth activity, with an Albie Morgan shot from 25 yards taking a nick for a corner, while Karamoko Dembele curled an effort wide following a quick counter-attack down the Seasiders right.

Ciaron Brown produced a great tackle to deny Northern Ireland international teammate Shayne Lavery a route towards goal, but the home side took the lead from the resulting corner.

Morgan hung the set piece beyond the back post, where Blackpool skipper Ollie Norburn sent the ball back across goal, where Pennington was able to apply the finishing touch with 18 minutes on the clock.

Three minutes later, the U’s found an equaliser from a corner of their own.

Tyler Burey’s cross bounced off James Husband to win the set piece, from which Sam Long nodded Cameron Brannagan’s delivery into the six-yard box, with Harris poaching for his seventh goal in nine games.

Brannagan then let fly from 30 yards, with the ball whizzing narrowly past Dan Grimshaw’s right-hand post.

United spurned a glorious opportunity just after the half hour mark, when Marcus McGuane was unable to sort his feet out when in on goal, although he did manage to poke it through for Harris, who was denied by a block on the line from Marvin Ekpiteta.

Ruben Rodrigues then slid through Tyler Goodrham, whose touch was marginally too heavy, allowing Grimshaw to claim the ball.

Buckingham made a switch at the half-time break, as he introduced Murphy in place of Burey in a straight swap down United’s right.

Former U’s loanee Kyle Joseph had the first attempt of the second period, when he cut infield from the left and aimed a shot at Cumming’s near post, however the goalkeeper was able to get down and hold the strike.

Cumming then produced a brilliant save just before the hour mark, when he somehow got a glove on Pennington’s header, from Morgan’s free kick swung in from the right-hand side.

Buckingham then made his second change, bringing on Goodwin for his United debut in place of Goodrham. The alteration saw Murphy move to the left, with Harris on the right and Goodwin through the middle.

Both sides battled in midfield without carving out much in the way of chances, although a Morgan volley was well held by Cumming just after 70 minutes had been played.

A stinging strike from substitute Kylian Kouassi was hit straight at Cumming, before Brannagan fired over the crossbar as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Bodin then made his comeback from an Achilles injury with seven minutes remaining, when he replaced Harris.

He was immediately involved, stooping low to head against the woodwork after Murphy played a wicked cross in from the right-hand side.

It was the closest that either side came to a winner, with the U’s able to leave Lancashire with a hard-earned point.

Blackpool (3-4-3): Grimshaw; Pennington, Ekpiteta, Husband; Gabriel (Hamilton 73), Morgan, Norburn (Byers 73), Coulson (Lyons 90+1); Dembele, Lavery (Kouassi 73), Joseph.

Unused subs: O’Donnell, Virtue, Casey.

Booked: Lavery, Husband, Byers.

Oxford United (4-2-3-1): Cumming; Long, Moore, Brown, Leigh; McGuane, Brannagan; Burey (Murphy 46), Rodrigues (Matete 78), Goodrham (Goodwin 61); Harris (Bodin 83).

Unused subs: Eastwood, Thorniley, Henry.

Booked: Long.

Referee: Paul Howard (London)

Attendance: 10,485 (1,024 away).