Brian Caffarey - 24th August 2008
OXFORD UNITED v WOKING
3pm on Monday 25 August 2008
The Cards travel to the Kassam Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon still seeking to get off the mark in their BSP campaign. We?ve managed a point on both of our previous visits there, and a repeat would be very welcome on Monday! Three would be even better, of course, and, although the cynics will scoff, our performances at Torquay and Burton suggest that we are quite capable of pulling off a win. The U?s, though, have the advantage of two days? more rest, having last played on Thursday evening.
It was another hugely disappointing result on Saturday against a very efficient Forest Green Rovers side. The Cards simply didn?t create enough chances and the few that they did create weren?t taken. There was therefore no way back once they went behind early in the second half to a wonder strike from Rovers? Kaid Mohamed. The lack of a biggish striker up front is a major problem. Liam Marum?s pace is an asset but his finishing leaves a lot to be desired at present and there?s no one to get on the end of the crosses which Abdou El Kholti in particular is perfectly capable of supplying. Playing on the break away from home might just bring us more joy, though, than trying to force the issue at Kingfield.
After a generally very disappointing campaign ? relieved only by a good run at the end of the season ? Darren Patterson brought in some very promising reinforcements during the summer, especially up front. (Quite how the U?s could afford to do so, given their apparently ?rocky? finances, is a bit of a mystery.) The early signs weren?t good, though, as they lost 3-0 away to Barrow in the BSP?s curtain raiser and then 1-0 at home to Weymouth. The U?s bounced back to beat Eastbourne Borough 6-3 at the Kassam, although they allowed Borough to pull the score back to 3-3 at one point. On their last outing the U?s lost 2-0 at Wrexham, with our old friend Jefferson Louis ? against one of his numerous former clubs! ? killing them off with a fine late goal. The U?s, though, battled well with ten men for 80 minutes, having had Luke Foster sent off early in the game.
On the face of it, the U?s ought to be rattling in the goals, having brought in a clutch of strikers in the summer. Jamie Guy has arrived on a season-long loan from Colchester, but is currently injured. Another season-long loan is James Constable (formerly with Kidderminster) from Shrewsbury. Another arrival is Lewis Haldane from Bristol Rovers. The Cards shouldn?t need any warning about Yemi Odubade, whose pace has disconcerted our defence in previous encounters.
Of course, there might well be a familiar-looking face lining up for the U?s in midfield! Eddie Hutchinson, Tom?s twin brother, is on the transfer list but is doing his best to make the case for staying, having scored against Eastbourne
Oxford United FC
Tel: 01865 337500
Tickets: 01865 337533
Fax: 01865 337555
Coach: leaves 12 noon; ?12 members, ?16 non-members. Too late now to ring the Club but you could try putting a message for Jen on CardBoard to check availability if you?re wanting to go at the last minute
Car: take the M25 and M40; the Stadium is just outside the ring road on the south of the city, and clearly signposted on all major routes into Oxford. There is plenty of parking at the ground
Train: the best route is probably via Basingstoke. The 12.16 from Woking gets to Basingstoke at 12.35 and you then need to take the 12.47 to Oxford, arriving at 13.34. Oxford station is a LONG way from theground. Take the number 5 bus from the station to Knights Road, which is about 5 minutes? walk from the ground. (The special football bus is no longer running.)
Come on, you Cards!