Cobblers ‘n Shrews, Pink Ox in the News

Life on the field for the mighty Yellows continues to improve. Since last writing the U’s have played away at Northampton and at home to Shrewsbury.

In the former, a capacity away crowd of 1.6 thousand fans roared their team on. Oxford were the better side on balance and were undeservedly beaten 2-1. Northampton rival Wycombe for the worse home support I have ever witnessed. Their mascot (a dragon called Clarence I think) is lethal with the ball when it comes to taking out linesmen (sorry lines-people, I came over all Andy Gray there) but is woeful with a drum stick. He could be seen travelling from stand to stand attempting to, literally, drum up support with embarrassingly little response.

In somewhat surreal circumstances after that game I went to a wedding reception at MK Don’s Stadium. I’m looking forward to the day when we play them. I’m told by a supporter of the team that the problem they consistently have is that the away fans are neatly packed into a small area conducive to singing loudly while the home fans are dispersed widely in a stadium that is clearly too big for their numbers of support. The result is that their team rarely get any kind of home advantage from their own support. I would love to see how many fans we took there and the sort of atmosphere we could create.

Pink Ox

At home, the match against Shrewsbury was a classic. The back-story to this match was the Pink Ox. It’s been well documented (in fact, on the day the news broke about the Pink Ox, it was allegedly the 7th most popular news story on the whole BBC news website) about how vandals (artists?) painted the bronze Ox outside the stadium bright pink. The club were opportunistic in taking the initiative to raise some money for breast cancer while simultaneously getting publicity for the club. I love this kind of ‘making the best out of a bad situation’ approach. The steps the club took were reflected in the demeanour of the crowd.

An upbeat crowd, started slowly in getting behind the team, with little opposition from a quiet, yet sizable group of Shrewsbury supporters. Three great goals from ex-Shrews Hall and Constable (x2) was enough to sink the Shropshire side who in riposte had very little to show in attempts on goal apart from the heavily deflected goal they actually scored.

In other news the U’s announced a pre-season tour to the U.S. giving many Oxford fans their first chance to watch the club away from British shores. The costs and details of this are eagerly awaited by all. It could be the most glamorous “Why not make a weekend of…” I’ve ever had the pleasure of compiling…..

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Cobbler, Cobbler, Mend My Shoe

OR…how to take a metaphor to such an extent, that people want to physically hurt you.

 

[How many cobbler/shoe type references can YOU (be bothered) to find in the below?]

At half time last week at Macclesfield we seemed to be on the verge of an unassailable victory.  We were stood on platform heels towering over the opposition.  However, during the course of the second half, this platform eroded and with it, the team’s confidence.  So we looked to Saturday’s match against Northampton Town, “The Cobblers”, to mend that damage.

Yellow Platforms

At half past two we started to gather in our thousands.  The match begun; and it could not have started any better for the U’s.  Constable’s clever foot work set up Elfie to take the lead.  However the joy was short lived, and any confidence we gained was damaged when a great Northampton cross was converted by McKenzie in to the back of Clarks net.

At this stage the Cobblers looked like one of the best teams to play at the Kassam this season, regularly getting behind the defence.  The midfield trio of Freeman, Hardy and Willis* looked particularly dangerous.  At this stage I honestly thought that we were not going to take all three points.

However, I did not reckon on Josh Payne’s excellent execution of a free kick just before half time.  He wrapped his boot around it and curled it round the wall, and into the bottom corner of the new (shoe) box shaped nets.

In the second half the U’s tightened their laces, and took control of the match.  When it mattered most, the team kept possession and stifled Town.  Two straight defeats had left U’s fans with heavy soles, but the win, secured by a third goal from the penalty spot by Craddock at the death, left us walking tall. 

The confidence is restored, and the well-healed yellows can now march to Bradford with the intention of restoring our away form.  Let’s hope we can give them a shoe-ing as well.

*Not actual Northampton footballers