Archive for the 'Oxford City FC' Category
Back To My Oxford City Roots

You never forget your first love, even more so in football, so despite missing a CD Tenerife pre season friendly I was pleased that my summer trip home from Tenerife coincided with Oxford City v Brackley Town on City´s newly installed 3G pitch.

The ground at Court Place Farm is in Marston, where I lived for a few years, so the return was even sweeter.A blazing hot late July day would have made it perfect but at least the rain held off, the clubs burgers and hot dogs were as scrummy as I remember, and a cold pint combined with a warm welcome from old friends soon had me settled.Big changes had taken place since my last game nearly two years ago, the clubhouse has had a big facelift, now open plan, adaptable and with large screen tvs for sport etc. The new 3G pitch is the latest FIFA approved version, it was only laid a few weeks ago and even in the warm ups I could see small clouds of black tyre rubber kicking up, this will quickly settle.

Here´s a potted history of City, founded 1822, I started watching them at The Old White House Ground just off the city centre in 1974 from my pram (actually I was in my early teens). City are in the Guiness Book of Records for the longest ever FA Cup Tie, in 1971 it went to six games before they lost, new replay rules mean that record can´t be beaten. In 1980 Bobby Moore was manager with Harry Redknapp hia assistant for about six months. Booted off the ground by the college owners to build houses, the club regrouped and fought their way back and are now in the Bananarama (Vanarama) Conference South.

Back to the game, Brackley are in the Conference North, a much tougher section, I was keen to see 18 year old goal prospect Horatio Hirst (above), Sheffield United spotted him in City´s youth side on a cup run and snapped him up. Horatio (no 10) has been loaned back this season and looked a class act, great awareness, nimble feet, and an eye for goal, the Conference will bring him on to the next level. There’s not much money at City so they comb the lower leagues and keep picking up little gems that go onto bigger clubs afgter serving City well.

The first half was very even, Brackley were hard to break down but didn’t ask too many questions in attack. Both teams blasted a shot wide of the post and the half ended as a quiet stalemate. Brackley upped their game after the break, Jimmy Armson went on a break down the right and brought the ball into City´s goal mouth, two defenders gave him too much space and he finished well from close range after 58 minutes. On the hour City made a double substitution, Justin Bennett and Ezra Forde both caused problems for Brackley. Bennett let loose a great dipping long shot that hit the underside of the bar before being tipped over.

The hoops didn´t get the breaks, Bennett had to go off with a leg injury and Zac McEachran had a clear goal dissallowed, foul or offside? Only the ref could answer that riddle. Brackley could have widened the gap in injury time but a free kick found home keeper Craig Hill alert and able to deflect the shot aside. It was a good game to watch and the 0-1 defeat will mean nothing when league action starts. The crowd was around 150, the threatening rain and an extended run of home friendlies played their part in keeping away the extra 100 or so that turn out for league clashes. For me it was just a pleasure to see City play again, it tweaked my thirst for an enjoyable evening of ale sampling.