Back In Oxford And Backing Oxford

Technology hates me so it should have come as no surprise when the ticket machine at Bournemouth station wouldn’t let me in to get my advance ticket that I had bought on Paypal. Never mind, I had arrived in plenty of time partly due to my Ryanair flight shaving 45 minutes off its landing time. With my ticket rescued I arrived in Oxford mid afternoon to glorious sunshine tempered by a chilly breeze. The daffodils were bursting forth and the old canal and backwaters of the mill stream looked rather splendid.

It was St Patricks Day so the Oxford pubs were pushing the usual merchandise. An American student in The Chequers wearing a large Guiness hat was wishing everyone a great day but she then bought a bottle of San Miguel – mixed messages or what. It seeems the local council are still as bad as ever, the Covered market is a popular historic part of the city centre with loads of charm and character but the council are trying to hike their rents up by an extortionate amount. As a young spotty youth still at school I used to work weekends and holiday on a fruit and veg stall in the market, hard work but a good way to earn a few quid.Later I found some nice real ales and bumped into some old friends, a good, if long, first day back.

The British weather played a blinder for me, Oxford City had several home games rained off and had re-arranged Histon Town at home on Tuesday evening. The Cambridge area opponents were just above City in the relegation zone of the Conference North so a real six pointer. The league is now called Skrill North, I finally found out what they are, Skrill are another form of Paypal, but whatever you call it the Conference North is the highest level I have ever seen City compete in.

With Champions League action on TV and a wet windy pig of a night, only 203 turned up for the game but City came from behind to win 2-1, their first win since Boxing Day – I was well chuffed. A year ago an American businessman with unproven credentials, Thomas Gueniero moved in as President and co owner of the City, he was over from the States shaking hands and looking for babies to kiss like a TV preacher on heat. The bloke talks PR management speak and is trying to get several other Oxford sporting teams under his wing. My bullshit radar was bleeping off the scale and the next days article in The Oxford Mail did nothing to dispel my concerns over just what this chap is up to. The man says he will get City into the football league and the crowds will come – oh really.

Relegation still looks a strong possibility, at least City are leading the fair play table – doesn’t that get you into the Europa League these days? Anyway it couldn’t detract from my pleasure at seeing a win and I celebrated with a few beers in Headington afterwards.