Revenge is a dish best served cold

The regular reader of my blog will know that I did not enjoy the trip to Bradford.  It was a far heavier defeat than I thought we deserved and circumstances conspired to make a miserable afternoon.  The low-light of it all was my lad saying that he did not want to go to away games anymore.  So retribution was what I was looking for in today’s return match at home.

On Friday I tweeted Harry Worley, explaining how much I wanted revenge  and in reply  he said “the result was awful, we will try and make sure that we put it right!”.  So in the 10th minute when Bradford took the lead from a fluky corner I was left thinking that the justice I so desperately yearned would not be dealt.  However, Oxford were dominant, more dominant than they have been for many years.  Dominant in possession, dominant territorially and dominant in performance.

There are not many times when a side losing 1-0 gets a standing ovation as it departs the field at half time, but this is what happened. This dominance had failed to produce a goal but the magnificent fans knew that this was a performance to be applauded.  As the second half began Oxford kept right where they left off.  This was not a frantic throw-everything-at-Bradford assault, but a cool, calm, patient and self-assured offensive.  Despite this, I will admit that I did not think we were going to score.  I just had the feeling that luck was against us (I guess it’s a heritage I just can’t shake off).

Luck, it seems was something that Chris Wilder spoke to the players about at half time; something along the lines of “let’s not be an unlucky side”.   There’s a lot to be said for that.  There are so many victims in life, people who are the recipients of bad fortune, but I think it’s true that you largely make your own luck.  While destiny can not be fully controlled, positive outcomes are much more likely if you work on influencing the factors that you can control.  This leaves much less to fate.  I would like to think that as a group of fans we can achieve this, and believe this was even a factor today.

So it was a cool, confident Oxford side, that took control of their destiny, including a fantastic performance from Harry Worley, true to his word.  We crafted two scrappy goals that sent us all delirious.  The nature of the goals did not matter.  What did, was that we got the result we deserved, and the revenge was served in a manner that I found MOST satisfying.

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Why not make a weekend of…Lincoln

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

Official tourist board promotional video:

Things to do and see:

  • Take advantage of the season and cut some funky yellow shapes on the ice:

http://www.visitlincolnshire.com/site/events/lincoln-on-ice-2010-p345271

Note: advanced booking required

  • Visit one of England’s finest cathedrals:

http://www.lincolncathedral.com/

  • Explore the six floors of Tattershall Hall; a rare red-brick medieval castle

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-tattershallcastle

Note: Listed as open, but check with NT nearer time due to weather conditions

  • Spook yourself silly with a Lincoln City ghost tour:

http://www.lincolnhistorywalks.co.uk/

(I was going to say, “not for those of a nervous disposition” but I forgot that you’re an Oxford fan!)

Looking for something nice to eat:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g186336-Lincoln_Lincolnshire_England.html

I want pubs near the ground:

http://awaydays-client.salgo.net/away-ground-guide.html#lincoln-city

How do I get to the ground?:

http://www.redimps.co.uk/page/SincilBankStadium/0,,10440~1060871,00.html

I want to go on the train:

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

History and stuff:

Lincoln has a well documented, eventful and indeed engaging history. Many pages have been written explaining its origins from a Roman settlement to links with William the Conqueror and some violent Civil War sackings.

Nothing to do with Lincoln

However, I would prefer to cheapen all that by talking about Lincoln biscuits. The problem (from extensive research) is that the City itself has nothing to do with the biscuits that bear its name. Disappointing really, because I had some cock and bull story made up about some z-list celebrity who invented Lincoln biscuits while living in the town.

The town’s most famous residents are of course Lincoln Park who wrote songs such as “Numb” and “Points of authority” while playing on the swings and roundabouts of the town park that inspired the band’s name (some spell it incorrectly). Limp Bizkit have nothing to do with Lincoln, but apparently are fond of Lincoln biscuits, an association that led to the name of their band.

I won’t see U’s there, but if you’re going could you bring me back a biscuit?

All’s (not) fair in love and war

This weekend I went to the Royal Armouries in Leeds.  It’s the best museum I have ever been too.  It’s full of historic military armaments and weapons, which I appreciate sounds dull; but it has great interactive displays and is free of charge.  For a big kid like me (and my big kid) it was great fun.

There are large glass cases with detailed recreations of famous battlefields such as Waterloo and Agincourt.  The descriptions and videos around show how battles were won and lost, how victories were sealed against seemingly impossible odds and how sometimes the slightest piece of fortune or individual effort, could set forth a series of events that could have epic outcomes.  We cut short our visit to the armouries, to go to Bradford [I know, I know!]. 

 The impressive (though expensive) Valley Parade made a good stage in which these two teams would do battle.  The fans of Oxford United, as ever in enemy territory, were a mighty battalion that through the first half were unrivalled in their support.  Confident in their team’s first half performance, they barracked the Bantams manager “We’ll get you sacked in the morning” they chanted.  This seemed to be the catalyst for change, in terms of our rivals support AND their team’s aptitude.

Yellow Army

It took the second half to see this manifest.  A lone soldier; Omar Daley, who in the first half of battle had been made to look ordinary by a defence that looked to have the opposition contained, crafted two opportunities.  The Oxford defence was too easily beaten, and Bradford, who once looked second best, now possessed the attribute that every general would want, morale and momentum.  The winds of war had changed and as so often seen on the battlefield, fortune deserted the U’s.  Penalty retakes and sending offs proved insurmountable odds.  The victory was sealed but its outcome far flattered the hosts.

As the bruised and defeated soldiers of Oxford left the field their battalion of supporters stood solid.  Undying support: singing, clapping, stoic.  The players recognised this in applauding the brave bunch, but reward can only really come in the battles still to come……

The Valley of Despair

We are family, I've got all my hot dogs with me

Amongst the ranks of the Yellow Warriors

 

THERE: Not one single Halloween reference.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Why not make a weekend of….Bradford

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

 

This weeks “Why not make a weekend of…” includes personal recommendations!

Bradford now.  Bradford Future?:

Things to do and see:  

There’s more to do in Bradford than you might think.  Highlights appear to be Salt’s Mill and the National Media Museum.  Take a look at this excellent website:

http://www.visitbradford.com/leisure-attractions/50thingstodoinBradfordDistrict.asp

If you don’t think there’s enough in Bradford to keep you occupied for a weekend then Leeds is a short drive away:

http://www.visitleeds.co.uk/

Still not enough for you?  Then why not head further North and explore the spectacular Dales?

http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/

Looking for somewhere to stay?:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotels-g186408-Bradford_West_Yorkshire_England-Hotels.html#T_CAT_HOTEL_MOTEL

A personal recommendation from our OUFC Northern Correspondent @oufcmad is Kirkfield B&B. Greatly located for the Dales and only half an hour drive to the ground.

Looking for something nice to eat:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g186408-Bradford_West_Yorkshire_England.html

Of course you’ve GOT to have a Balti? http://www.visitbradford.com/food-drink/Bradford-Curry-Guide.asp

And if you’re in Leeds this place gets a personal recommendation from our @oufcmad: http://www.artscafebar.com/

 I want pubs near the ground:

http://awaydays-client.salgo.net/away-ground-guide.html#bradford-city

If in Leeds, @oufcmad recommends the Angel Inn for “good but cheap beer” – My kind of beer!

How do I get to the ground?:

http://www.the2020group.com/cms/document/Directions_To_Bradford_City_FC.pdf

 I want to go on the train:

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

 History and stuff:

Brad "ford" Pitt (yesterday probably)

 

It won’t have escaped your attention that Bradford is another [x]Ford city.  In this case a place where the river was so shallow that it provided a convenient crossing point for Hollywood star Brad Pitt.

It was during the making of the famous Belaggio scene in Ocean’s Eleven when the director realised that Vegas was just not cutting it as a location.  A quick switch to a (then) nameless city in Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for this scene.  Pitt was the first of the cast to ford the river at the shoot; and in doing so gave the town its name.  Had he been half a minute later, then the City might have been named Georgeford or, worse, Mattford.  So a lucky escape there.

Pitt and his wife Angelina Jolie, well known for her fondness of Asian food, have been instrumental in establishing the City as Britain’s capital of curry.  They can often be found in one of the many local restaurants enjoying a balti with Brad’s equally famous brother; Courtney.

SEE U’s THERE!

Oxford City vs Oxford United

When fully clothed, you should never really feel the waft of a summer evening’s breeze ‘down below’.  So I was bemused, as I entered Court Place Farm, home to Oxford’s other team, that I could feel this curious sensation.  Only upon seeing open-mouthed onlookers and concerned parents shielding their offspring’s eyes did I realise that I had a gaping hole where my zip should be.

I had experienced what is technically referred nowadays to as a jeans zip fail.  Perhaps it’s not suprising as these jeans did only cost £6 from Asda, but all the same as far as functionality goes a pair of jeans really only has two attributes: a button and a zip.  Surely it’s not too much to ask that each of these work properly?  I guess you get what you pay for.

And in this instance what I ‘got’ was a match of angst.  It seems that gravity alone is all it took for the fly to drop, as leaning against a bar to watch football is hardly the most physically vigorous act?  Every so often I would yank the zipper back up, but was concerned that people may interpret my actions as unusual activity, and that maybe I had a ‘thing’ for footballers.

I therefore settled on a strategy of hoiking the zip up when play was down the other end.  You know, it’s amazing how many people do not follow the course of play, choosing instead, to focus their attention upon my gaping groin area.  Maybe it’s just mild paranoia.  SOME were focussing on the game.  A U’s fan to my left kept on shouting “Come on Oxford!”, which considering the two teams that were playing, was not nearly as specific as it should have been.  This became apparent when in response to the man’s calls I saw Dave Savage, half nod his head and puff up his chest as if to say “Yes, I will ‘come on'”.  The fan’s attempt at encouragement had quite the opposite effect to the intention. 

Lessons learned from today’s blog post:

  • Don’t buy Asda Jeans
  • Be specific in your support when two teams have the same forename

Oh, sorry, the match?  I think Oxford won it 1-0.

Coming soon……….Why not make a weekend of Burton?

Leicester Preseason friendly

A crowd of almost three thousand saw Oxford match Championship side Leicester City in performance and, ultimately the score line.  The crowd was boosted by a good following from Leicester and bizarrely, coach loads of American teenagers.

The latter were allocated tickets to the extreme right side of the Oxford Mail stand.  Pre-match they could be spotted blinking and bewildered under the stand trying to work out why they could not buy popcorn, nor nachos and cheese for the game.  They seemed to enjoy themselves and I think made to feel welcome by the regulars.
 
The concourse under the Oxford Mail, appears to have had a bit of a spruce up with fresh signage for the seat numbers, and  an indication that you will now be able to get drinks from a separate window to where the food is served.
 
Despite the low crowd there was a good atmosphere, with singing from both sides, mostly to point out how ‘useless’ the other team was.  The crowd size is nothing to be concerned about; 1 in 3 of us are currently on holiday, and with two games in close succession, and times hard, people are obviously picking and choosing.  The attendance for Tuesday night will be interesting to note.
 
On the pitch United showed some great passages of play, neat flowing passes at times that shows we may be delivered some of the exciting football Wilder promised.  Batt in particular was being allowed some freedom in the second half that the team capitalised on well.  I said I would never comment on performances in these blogs so best I end it there before I’m out of my depth.
 
To summarise, an entertaining afternoon that has left this blogger, quite literally, cock-a-hoop with excitement about the fast approaching season……