Bournemouth ran out 1-0 winners in the first of the U's Easter fixtures, as things took another twist and turn in the race for survival.
The U's started both halves brightly, but came up against a well drilled Cherries side who had chances of their own to further extend their advantage during the game.
Whilst they continued to spurn those opportunities, the U's were still in the game, but they couldn't find a path to goal despite six minutes of additional time at the end.
With Scunthorpe winning, it narrows things up again down the bottom of the League One table and the U's go to Oldham on Monday in an important game for both sides in the race for survival.
The U’s made two changes from the side that defeated Bury two weeks ago, with Jabo Ibehre returning in place of Michael Smith and Jack Compton making his first start in place of the suspended George Porter.
Both sets of fans were in good voice, and it was nearly the U’s fans who were celebrating first as a winding Ibehre run took him past two, but he scuffed his shot at the end of it.
It was an open affair, both sides racing through the middle third of the pitch, only to be denied by the opposition defence.
After Pitman had scuffed a shot when well placed, the U’s had their next sight of goal when Compton stood a cross up to the far post, Massey nodded back but keeper Allsop got their first.
The visitors then got away through the middle when O’Kane set Grabban in on goal. Garmston got back to give him something to think about, but his shot forced a good save out of Walker when he should have scored.
However, they did get their noses in front when Ritchie got in down the right and sent over a low cross which Pittman stabbed home from close range.
Either side could have justifiably been in front in those early stages, but the visitors had had the better chances in the first twenty.
O’Kane then had five minutes to forget for the Cherries – first picking up a yellow card for a foul on Morrison, before then getting injured in a tackle with Ibehre and having to be substituted.
Pitman then tested the U’s goal as a quick ball found him at the far post but, six yards out, he headed against the upright.
The Cherries were in charge at this stage, with the U’s struggling to get into the visitors final third as the first half wore down to a close.
Grabban had another chance to kill the game off at the end of the opening period and, having missed a one on one earlier in the half, he did the same in injury time, getting in one on one, but pulling his shot wide of goal.
The U’s started the second half brightly – Ibehre heading just wide from a corner – but the Cherries were a threat on the counter.
Arter stormed away through the middle five minutes into the second half and forced a fine low stop out of Walker to keep the U’s in the game.
The U’s had to make their first change about twenty minutes into the second half, Garmston having to limp off after blocking bravely on the edge of the box.
Arter then had another chance from the edge of the box which was easily swallowed up by Walker as the visitors sought that second goal.
The U’s introduced Drey Wright for the last twenty minutes as the home side sought an equaliser.
He had shown his pace a couple of times before the Cherries next chance, where Arter rolled his way into the box, before forcing a good stop out of Walker.
The U’s then tested the visitors goal, Clifford stepping aside from his man on the edge of the box and firing just over.
The visitors were happy to hit the U's on the break, but the home side kept pressing as six minutes of additional time were added.
On one late set piece, Walker was waved forwards to test the visiting defence, but they stood strong and kept their clean sheet in tact to move second in the table.