St Albans City were held to a goalless draw against Oxford City at Clarence Park in the National League South in what proved to be a frustrating encounter.
The game was overshadowed by late drama, Oxford City captain Joe Oastler was sent-off after a foul on Joe Iaciofano which sparked a coming together from both teams.
Iaciofano had the best chance of the match in the opening exchanges, his right-footed effort hit the Oxford City bar from Zane Banton’s smart cut-back.
The result means the Saints are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions and sit two points above the relegation zone.
The first chance of the game fell to The Saints, Solomon Nwabuokei released Banton who expertly found top scorer Iaciofano but his effort crashed against the bar from 12 yards.
Moments later Iaciofano squandered another golden opportunity, the frontman couldn’t keep his right-footed effort down after a smart team move.
Oxford City’s best chance fell to Zac McEachran the midfielder dragged his shot just wide from 20 yards after smart play from Josh Ashby.
The Saints controlled much of the first-half but couldn’t find the breakthrough, on the stroke of half-time David Longe-King couldn’t keep his header down from David Noble’s corner.
Substitute Harry Forster had the Saints first effort on goal in the second period, his left-footed effort was smartly saved by Craig King.
In the dying minutes, Noble’s audacious chipped effort was parried over the bar by King, from the resulting corner Joe Oastler was shown a second yellow for violent conduct.
Iaciofano appeared to have been fouled in the process and went down clutching his face, a massive brawl ensued resulting in several bookings and the red card.
Saints almost won it with seconds remaining, Banton’s superbly executed overhead kick from 18 yards was blocked by the Oxford City defender.
Next up for The Saints is an away trip to promotion hopefuls Havant & Waterlooville while Oxford City host Dorking Wanderers.