Cod moves in mysterious ways

The trip to Cheltenham was worthwhile despite an uncertain start.  Let’s start with the A40.  If you live in Witney and have to travel into Oxford on a daily basis, then you have my sympathy.  Quite how you cope with putting up with that on a daily basis is beyond me.  I set off reasonably early, but even then I was nervously looking at my watch remembering my last trip to Cheltenham with its delayed kick off.

Then upon arrival, I was greeted by a girl with her mate, maybe 10-12 years old.  She looked at my shirt and without hesitation said “Oxfurd’s gunna lose big time”.  Now at her age I WOULD never have talked to someone my age in the way she did.  Incredibly disrespectful to her elders I thought.  However, then I thought, perhaps she’s NOT being rude, perhaps she actually had the power of insight; to see what was yet to be, and that she was sparing me from suffering to come.  In days of old she might have been the wise woman who lived in the woods….. 

“I have word from the wise woman, Sire.”

“What say’st the woman of the woods about our fortunes on the field of battle?”

“She says ‘We’re gunna lose………………………big time'”

So with a heavy heart dwelling on either, the youth of today, or our upcoming fortune I strolled to the chippy.  I was served a delightful fish shaped pieced of batter that should have come with the warning “May contain traces of cod”; cod being what I had paid for.  Once I’d got to the fishy end of the batter I dropped it on the floor (unintentionally) and was left to lament on cod moving in mysterious ways.

So all being said, I was having a bad run of luck before the game even started.  Then on the pitch the early signs were, that the soothsayer of doom who I had met outside the ground had spoken with great insight.  We lose captain Creighton to a toe injury and Cheltenham score the spawniest of goals.  The signs at that stage were that we might get demolished.

The second half begins, and our support (quiet for spells in the first half) rallied inspiring a goal from Jack that seemed impossible in the first half.  From that point on our support was incredible, united in adversity against a referee whose one-sided handling of the match was obscene.  The players performed with a new belief and it seemed that from that point there was only one team in it.  Unfortunately the second goal did not come, but it felt more like victory than defeat.  Snatching a draw in this manner is always sweet, but particularly so when the signs before were so very bad……  Destiny, it seems, can not be predicted and the unlikely CAN happen.

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Why not make a weekend of….Crewe?

Use the Oxford United Fixture list as a touring itinerary of our amazing country and..

Maybe this is why?:

Things to do and see – Highlights are listed below:

Railway Age – An insight into Crewe’s locomotive industrial past

Stapelely Water Gardens – See exotic plants and animals and a really big garden centre

Beeston Castle – Only 10 miles away, it offers one of the most spectacular castle views in England

Surrounding Area – There are nice walks in the area. The towns of Congleton and Nantwich are worth a visit.

A much more comprehensive list of attractions can be found here, including links to some of the places above:

http://bit.ly/bkcX5e

 

Looking for somewhere to stay?:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g499507-Crewe_Cheshire_England-Hotels.html

 

Looking for something nice to eat:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/RestaurantSearch?geo=499507&pid=&q=Crewe%2C+United+Kingdom&cat=&src=

I want pubs near the ground:

http://awaydays-client.salgo.net/away-ground-guide.html#crewe-alexandra

How do I get to the ground?:

http://www.crewealex.net/page/Directions/0,,10414,00.html

I want to go on the train:

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/en/s/timetable/times

History and stuff:

Alexander the Great, the famous Macedonian King founded the town of Crewe on his “Conquest of Cheshire tour 318BC”. Immediately recognising the potential of the town he decreed that trains should be invented and so it came to be that Crewe became the heart of the railroad revolution.

Soot from steam locomotives became such a problem locally that it became impossible to maintain long flowing locks. Locals therefore took the drastic step of cutting off their hair, inspiring the now wide-spread “Crewe Cut”.

I won’t SEE U’s THERE because I can’t make this one 😦

Fence End Blues

Me:  Four season ticket exchanges to South Stand Upper please

Ticket office Lady: Whereabouts?

Me: Across to the right, as close to the East Stand as you can

Three minutes Later……..

Me: These tickets say turnstile 1-2? Isn’t that the fence end?  Oh please no, not the fence end.  There’s no bleedin’ atmosphere there and every time we do we get beat.

Nuff said

AND he said Elfie again.  Does he not read this blog?

Scores on the doors for our below average support

A is for Alfie

Dear Oxford United Tannoy Announcer,

I would like to correct something that is slowly eroding my sanity: The name Alfie is pronounced with an ‘A’ sound as in Apple and not an “Eh” sound as in Elf.

A page from one of the tannoy announcers school books

I mean, the guy’s already up against it having the surname of a fictional wizard.

 Commentators are not able to talk about his performance without using the words “magical”, “spell” or “wizardry”. And now YOU have to add insult to injury by making him a character from a Tolkein book, or worse, one of Santa’s little helpers. The last time I looked, he’s not pointy eared, and to my knowledge he ain’t that good with a bow and arrow.

So when it’s 14:55 on Saturday and you’re about to read out the teams think about this and put it right, please, for the sake of my failing sanity.

Elfie Potter (I should point out it's been photoshopped)

ps. The rest of your work is great – I especially like the Debt Dr stuff

The Hereford Premonition

Every so often, about once or twice per season (on average) I get this absolute conviction that we are going to win a game. It’s SO certain that it is almost as if the game has already happened and I am thinking back on it as a win. Whenever I have had this conviction it has ALWAYS been right. So, as you can imagine I’m filthy rich from all the money I have made betting on this outcome. 

No, that’s not how it works. It’s complicated, but if I have this premonition then I know I must not tell anyone about it or act on it in any way, or it will not come true (until the game is over). I know, I know, completely irrational, illogical and frankly potty, but there it is. So, to cut a long story short, Hereford was one of those. 

From the moment last week’s game against Morecambe ended, to the moment the referee put his whistle to his lips to start the game, I KNEW we were going to win this one. This was without the knowledge of quite how bad Hereford were going to be, or how well our team were going to play as a unit. Once again the boys made us proud. Chris promised us some entertaining performances this season and he is certainly delivering accordingly. 

It was an odd ground to generate an atmosphere in.  The upper tier was steep (felt dangerous) with poor visibility.  I could not take part in my favourite past time of berating the lino beacuse I could never see him.  The queue for the toilets at half time were epic.  As fans we did our bit:

Our performance rated for Hereford Away

This is a weekend that will live long in the memory. We practiced a bit of what I preach by making a weekend of this game. We had some good food, plenty of celebratory drinks (never trust @yellowtim to order the drinks in a restaurant immediately after an Oxford win) and lots of fun outside of the game itself.

The people of Hereford before and after the game were warm welcoming and a credit to their town, which I would not hesitate to visit again. The memory that will live longest, I think, was our walk back to the hotel from the restaurant when spontaneously our little group reflecting on the day filled the dark empty, echoing streets with a chorus of “E-I-E-I-E-I-O”; two grown men and their kids terrifying the locals.Here’s to Stockport, which, by the way, I’m afraid I have no premonition for (yet) and if I did, I could never tell you…..

Monumental toilet queue at Hereford

Why not make a weekend of….Hereford

Serving Suggestion: Use the Oxford United Fixture list as a touring itinerary of our amazing country and..

So bad, it’s GOOD:

Virtual tour of the town: http://www.visitherefordshire.co.uk/tours/hereford/hereford.htm

Things to do and see: Highlights are listed below:   

  • Hereford Cathedral – One of England’s finest Norman Cathedrals
  • Sufton Court –  Explore the park and grounds of this Palladian mansion
  • Mappa Mundi Exhibition – See the world famous medieval map of the world
  • Cider Museum and King Offa Distillery– A museum to Cider making, you can sample the stuff too
  • Forest of Dean – It has trees and other vegetation, possibly some animals too
  • Crazy golf – At “Adventure golf” –  TGS bowling: http://www.tgsbowling.co.uk/adventure.htm
  • Ross on Wye – Half an hour down the A49 is the beautiful town of Ross-On-Wye.  There is lot’s to see here and some great walks
  • Amazing Hedge Puzzle – It’s at Ross.  Allow plenty of time, best not to get lost in a maze before the game

A searchable list with links to most of the places above (and many more) can be found here:

http://www.visitherefordshire.co.uk/thedms.asp?dms=10&groupid=2&param1=1

Looking for somewhere to stay?:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g186302-Hereford_Herefordshire_England-Vacations.html

NB: I happen to know that the Premier Inn is full for the weekend so don’t bother

Looking for something nice to eat:

http://www.toptable.com/venues/?l=2215

 I want pubs near the ground: 

http://awaydays-client.salgo.net/away-ground-guide.html#hereford-united

 How do I get to the ground?: 

http://www.herefordunited.co.uk/page/Directions/0,,10835,00.html

 I want to go on the train: 

 http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/en/s/timetable/times

NB: The 9:21 and 11:21 from Oxford Station goes direct to Hereford (no changes) and arrive 2 hours 20 mins later.  The ground is walking distance from the station:

 Come out of the station and turn left and down the road towards the Safeway supermarket. Cut through the Safeway car park (heading left) and follow the pedestrian walkway out of the store out onto Commercial Road. Go left down Commercial Road, where you will pass the Merton Hotel on your right and a Wetherspoons pub on your left. At the top of the road at the traffic lights, turn right (against the direction of the traffic) into Blueschool Street. Keep walking along here until you come to a set of lights and a multi storey car park opposite and to the right (this is Widemarsh Street). Cross over and bear slightly right and cut up a walkway between the car park and Garrick House (council offices) where you come into a car park (if you head left you will find the Newmarket Pub) head right and walk out the car park. Turn left and you can’t miss the ground, it’s on your right.

 History and stuff:

 If “Oxford” means the ford where the Oxen cross, then presumably Hereford is the part of a river where the “Here” cross.  “Here”, in Saxon meaning army.  Unsurprisingly then, Hereford has seen a lot of military action with the Welsh (and even the Danish) having a go at various points throughout early history.

Hereford is famous for being the home of the “Map of Munters” which was a medieval map showing where the ugliest folk of the known world reside.   Apparently, Swindon was on it.

More recently the towns of Hereford and Worcester merged to become one massive building society, providing employment to those that had otherwise been employed in the wool trade.

As a reward for reading this far, I suggest you go to YouTube and type in Hereford Rap – click on this: “Rford n B hereford rap hereford song”.  It’s very educational but is only for a mature audience – do not do this if you are under 18.

What’s missing from this guide?: Add your comments below! 

SEE U’s THERE!

Score one and Morecambe

It was always going to be like that.  We knew that the team  performances deserved more points and today the first win came in style.  On the support side of things (which I’m more qualified to talk about) we did enough. 

Special mention must go to @SwissYellow and @YellowBeanz for their flag action, which can be witnessed in the video:

A little rant about children’s attendance at matches:

There’s been some talk in the week on the Yellows Forum about children at matches and swearing in the crowd.  I can see both sides of this.  As a parent I like to take my son to football, it’s always been a dream and you can’t really explain the pride you get in seeing your own off-spring in  a yellow shirt.  When I take him, I try to protect him from the bad language, but truth be said; it’s a football game, and he’s never going to escape it completely.  We talk about it and he’s cool, he certainly never uses the words he hears at home.

Today, however, was a different kettle of fish because said lad did not come.   After two pints in the Priory (MAN that was good, my first time and I hope not the last) I was up for a good old-school shout in the stands.  This is where I feel empathy for those that are not happy with children around them.  Football is, and always has been my outlet.  Most people who know me, know I’m a pretty laid back sort of person.  If football didn’t exist, then that may not be the case – football is my release. 

Referee’s play a VITAL role in the community.  It’s nothing to do with how they direct a match, but how they are an actual living person that it’s officially OK to shout and scream at.  Sort of, please visit:  http://www.thefa.com/RESPECT

When it comes to children at matches it really comes down to the parents responsibility – if you don’t want them to hear the language take them to another part of the stand or ground where it’s less likely.  [OK, climb down off soap box and pack it away.]  Thanks for listening.

Coming soon……… “Why not make a weekend of………Hereford”