Luck eluded the U's at Crawley as they twice struck the woodwork in the second half in the quest to rescue the game at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
The U's had not given much going forwards in the first half but, with two decent spells in the second, they saw the bar and the post hit after the interval as good fortune did not go their way.
It narrows the gap to the teams below them, but there were enough moments of encouragement in the second half to give the U's hope to take into their next home double this week.
The home side got off to a brighter start, with Tubbs volleying one wide from 20-odd yards after it dropped over the head of Eastman.
The U’s started to grow into the game, and had a decent spell of play down the right hand side but, on a couple of occasions, a couple of clever back heels didn’t quite find their target.
But it was the home side who had the next half chance as some build up play saw the ball drop to Clarke, whose shot was collected at the second time of asking by Walker.
In general, though, chances remained at a premium in the first quarter of the match, and Connolly became the first booking of the game as he tripped Watt who was just about to stretch his legs on a run up the pitch.
Left winger Jones was proving to be a troublesome influence for the U’s defence and he flashed one wide of goal on 28 minutes. At the other end, Sears opened his legs to drive towards goal, but his effort skimmed just wide.
On occasion, Watt was looking lively when getting on the ball, but it was Jones who got the home side in front.
The ball was dinked over the top for the left winger, who stayed calm as he rounded Walker to slot into the empty net.
It was probably merited in terms of the chances the home side had created in the first half, and gave the U’s a clear task after the interval.
Sears made way and it was Massey who came on for the second period, as the visitors looked for a way back into the match.
Watt had a shot from 25 yards that was blocked out wide to Massey, who got down the flank and crossed in, only for Jones to collect.
Then a Dickson throw caused chaos at the back, before the ball was eventually hooked behind for a corner.
It was better from the U’s, and they came close to scoring when Watt rose highest on the hour mark to cannon a header off the top of the crossbar.
Eastman could consider himself unlucky to go into the book midway through the half. He and Proctor were tussling with each other as the ball settled down and the U’s man got booked for blocking a quick free kick.
The U’s made their final two changes with twenty minutes to go. Vose came on for Eastmond, whilst Ibehre was replaced by Morrison.
The next chance was to the home team, as Proctor pushed Eastman out of the way, and squared it to Simpson, whose shot was blocked by Wilson.
The U’s had a half glimpse of goal just inside the last twenty minutes when the ball fell to Wright on the edge of the box, but his scuffed shot was blocked by the Crawley defence.
The fortune of the visitors was summed up with ten minutes to go, as Vose hit a sensational low effort that pinged off the inside of the post with the keeper beaten and away to safety.
The U's then had another chance as both Wright and Morrison at the far post had chances blocked inside the six yard box, as luck continued to elude the visitors.
It summed up the U's day, and now the game against Shrewsbury on Tuesday is a big one for both teams.