News News

Oxford City: Traveller’s Tales

Posted by Rob Brown
Posted on Mon 18 Mar 2024
Posted in News

Doris was probably wondering what all the commotion was, it was before 7.00 am, it was chucking it down, and the usual suspects had arrived especially early just to wake the neighbours. It perhaps wasn’t their intention to put me in the bad books, but the animation on Doris’ face from behind the bedroom curtains said it all. It’s always the same, you wake a few people up on a Sunday morning and the first thing they shout at you as they open the window is ‘Do you know what time it is?’ Luckily, Pete had his watch on and was able to answer the question, and with that we were off, very, very quickly…

The motorway on our 184-mile journey South was horrendous; visibility was seriously impaired by the spray from other vehicles, the road was littered with pools of water that would suddenly slow the car down.  Any attempt to drive at a slower pace was usually met with an HVG vehicle driving so close behind us, Pete could have easily put one of those famous Halifax Town stickers on it.  Those stickers seem to get everywhere these days…

It felt a little like British summer time had arrived as we reached our usual Northamptonshire breakfast spot. It wasn’t due to the colourful blossom that adorned the trees and shrubs, it was down to the fact that kicking off at 12.15 had thrown out all our sense of timing. We didn’t know if we were coming or going, just like when they change the clocks. We’d arrived moments after it opened, and left in a rush 40 minutes later, even the Greetland Shayman’s attempt to get a second cup of coffee was discretely vetoed by the rest of the table. Time was marching on, we had places to be and people to meet.

With parking restrictions lifted on a Sunday, we were lucky enough to find a free spot in a council car park next to the ground.  Admission was a bargain £17.00 for adults and £12.00 for the old boys. Oxford’s Court Place Farm ground has a capacity of 2000 and hasn’t changed too much since our last visit back in 2013.  There’s a function room and bar behind one goal, and the other has covered standing.  Down each side of the pitch there are also stands with covered seating. The biggest change is the playing surface. The old grass pitch has now been replaced with a good looking 3g surface which allows much more use of the stadium including by the Oxford United Ladies team.

The first half started with the tempting smell of fish and chips in the air as the Shaymen attacked the clubhouse end of the ground. It was a pretty even first 20 minutes until the home goalkeeper lost the ball under a routine challenge, that resulted in the Shaymen taking the lead.  Within a couple of minutes, it was 2-0 with another well taken goal inside the box.

Without segregation we were free to wander up the other end of the ground for the second half which was one way traffic. too, The Shaymen dominated possession, created lots of chances, and gave the home goalkeeper plenty to do. He produced several decent saves, got lucky a few times and perhaps should have been named man-of-the-match for his second half performance.  The 140 or so travelling Shaymen showed their appreciation for a well organised and safe three points with rapturous applause at the end. The result never seemed in any doubt from the moment the team took the lead.

Driving back and the league tables were checked, the remaining fixtures reviewed and all the what-ifs and maybes discussed.  The play-off positions are tantalisingly close with every team pushing for the top seven spots.  Our run of six wins in the last seven games has really given us a chance in the end of season jamboree. We’ve got some tricky games ahead but so have all the other teams. It’s surely going to go down to the wire.

Next up we’re off to the Northeast on Good Friday and another three points on the road, who’s coming?

Miles on the road 6348, goals on the road 23

Read more posts by Rob Brown