JIM Smith ended his caretaker manager's stint unbeaten after United came from behind to earn a point against Stevenage at the Kassam Stadium.

Oxford's new manager is expected to be announced in the next day or two and he will take over a side unbeaten in four matches.

This draw brought an end to Oxford's five-game winning streak at home in the league but it was still a useful one after they had fallen behind to a great strike.

Stevenage took the lead with a goal out of nothing in the 27th minute, though they had been threatening to score on the break.

David Bridges struck a superb right-footed shot over Billy Turley from 25 yards, and there was nothing the U's keeper could do about it.

United had begun well enough, with Sam Deering producing a brilliant defence-splitting pass in the eighth minute to prsent James Constable with a golden opportunity. But Oxford's top scorer blazed his left-footed drive wide.

Stevenage keeper Chris Day saved Constable's header at a corner.

Graham Westley's men might have gone in front, however, in the opening minute when a well-worked move ended with Lee Boylan finding space for a shot, but Turley pushed it away from the foot of his post.

Oxford's keeper made a much more difficult save when he came quickly off his line to deflect a Steve Morison shot for a corner after Morison found himself in the clear.

Lewis Haldane, lively at times down the left, forced Day into action with a sharp turn and shot from 22 yards.

And it was Haldane who forced the corner which brought United their equaliser three minutes before half-time.

Adam Murray's corner was taken beautifully on his chest by Constable, who then volleyed in past at least three players on the line.

It was a very open game, with both sides attacking freely, and Stevenage continued to have menace going forward.

Turley could only push out an angled left-wing drive from Mitchell Cole, but Matt Day reacted quickly to poke the loose ball away for a corner.

in the second half, there were again chances at both ends.

Phil Trainer had a right-footed volley at another Murray corner blocked in front of the line and a few minutes later, the midfielder planted a header over after a fine run from deep.

Yet at the other end, when United's defence couldn't clear their lines and the ball ran free to Bridges, Turley again came to the rescue, beating his shot out.

Smith sent on Yemi Odubade and Eddie Hutchinson midway through the second half and Odubade almost set up Constable for a late winner, the keeper again making a good stop.

Oxford Utd: Turley; Willmott, Foster, Day; Burnell, Murray, Trainer (Hutchinson 66), Haldane: Deering; Guy(Odubade 66), Constable. Subs not used: Hinchliffe, Clarke, Carruthers.

Att: 4,343 (86 from Stevenage).