It took penalties to separate AFC Bournemouth and Oxford at the Kassam Stadium as the Cherries bowed out of the Capital One Cup. 120 minutes of football couldn't produce a goal in a game that saw very few clear cut chances, but no shortage of entertainment.
Both sides huffed and puffed, but It was Oxford who entered the hat for the second round draw after Marc Pugh was the only player to miss in the penalty shoot-out.
AFC Bournemouth travelled to Oxfordshire with two summer additions in their eighteen-man squad - captain for the evening Miles Addison and Lewis Grabban, who started on the right of midfield.
Shwan Jalal started between the sticks, and in the absence of the injured Darryl Flahavan. Youth team goalkeeper Chad Collins found himself called up to the bench.
Wes Thomas was joined upfront by Matt Tubbs, who made his first competitive start since March's 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
James Constable - a target last summer for former Cherries manager Lee Bradbury - spearheaded the U's attack, with the home team opting for a 4-3-3 formation.
Bournemouth - sporting the new all blue away kit - kicked-off the strongest with a Thomas header going just wide after three minutes. Pugh put the cross in, and was in the thick of it again just two minutes later when he saw a double effort smothered by Ryan Clarke in the Oxford goal.
The vociferous crowd was being rewarded by some committed football, and the U's Michael Raynes saw yellow after a cynical trip on Tubbs.
Right back Damian Batt tested Jalal on the half-hour mark, but the Baghdad-born stopper got down low to his left to keep the scores level.
The deadlock was nearly broken during a frenetic end to an open 45 minutes, but Grabban couldn't convert a Simon Francis delivery, seeing his header sail over the bar.
A minute later Sean Rigg dispossessed Francis at the other end, but could not keep his powerful effort down from an acute angle.
Jalal was forced to work hard one minute before the break, parrying Adam Chapman's low drive into the path of Rigg and recovering well to keep out the rebound.
An unchanged Cherries kicked-off the second half shooting towards the home supporters.
Pugh forced a corner when his well worked shot was defected over the bar, but the resulting set-piece came to nothing in a noticeably slower second period. Thomas had a chance minutes later, but hesitated before planting his effort straight at the 'keeper.
Steven Gregory replaced Tubbs on 60 minutes, with manager Paul Groves opting for a diamond in the midfield. Harry Arter and Gregory moved to the left and right respectively, with Pugh setting up just behind Grabban and Thomas in an attack minded front three.
Pugh was left fuming when his penalty appeal was waved away by referee Darren Drysdale. The attacker flicked the ball past the last defender and felt he took a touch on his way to the deck, but the official dismissed his protests.
Oxford substitute Dean Smally got the same reaction from the man in black just two minutes later, seeing his appeal for a trip inside the box turned down.
Thomas had another effort flash past the post before Donal McDermott replaced the limping Joe Partington, who succumbed to a heavy tackle from the U's Adam Chapman.
As the Cherries began to to turn the screw Pugh's left-foot curler came inches away from breaking the deadlock.
At the end of normal time Francis was booked for handball just outside the area, before Chapman forced Jalal into tipping his dipping free-kick over the bar.
The opening 15 minutes of extra-time saw the introduction of first year professional Josh Wakefield and the youngster nearly had an immediate impact. His cross wasn't cleared by the Oxford defence and the ball pinged around the box before Thomas' point blank effort was parried by Clark.
With the tannoy announcer signalling one minute of injury time, Chapman pulled a deceptive free kick back across goal. Tom Craddock was unmarked but could only half-volley his effort straight past the post.
In the second half of extra time, Wakefield flashed a dangerous low cross along the six-yard box, but a touch from an Oxford defender meant the ball eluded Grabban at the back post.
A Pugh free kick was driven straight into the wall, before the referee signalled that the game was to be decided on penalties.
Craddock slotted the U's first cooly to the left of Jalal, but Charlie Daniels levelled with a unstoppable low drive into the bottom right corner.
Smalley converted Oxford's second, powering into the roof of the net, but once again the Cherries were level when Donal McDermott kept his cool and put the ball straight down the middle.
Rigg converted, and it was advantage U's as Pugh's penalty was saved by the outstretched Clarke.
Grabban provided a lifeline for the Cherries by matching Chapman in the fourth round of spot kicks, but Damian Batt made no mistake as he side-footed the winner into the top right hand corner.
The Cherries now turn their attentions to the league and south coast neighbours Portsmouth, who host Groves' side on Saturday.
Cherries: Jalal, Francis, Addison, Zubar, Daniels, Grabban, Arter (Wakefield 97), Partington (McDermott 77), Pugh, Thomas, Tubbs (Gregory 60).
Unused substitutes: Collins, Cook, Chiedozie, Fletcher.
Bookings: Francis, McDermott.
Oxford United: Clarke, Batt, Raynes, Wright ©, Capaldi, Chapman, Cox (Smalley 67), Forster-Caskey (Heslop 104), Rigg, Constable (Craddock 93), Potter.
Unused substitutes: Brown, McGinty, Marsh, Long.
Attendance: 3788 (691 Cherries supporters)