Sunday 30th October 2011 ko 10.30am
Upper Thames Valley League Division Two
YELLOW EAGLES 3 (Little 19 40 Simpson 49)
SUTTON WANDERERS 1 (Richards 73)
Att 6 (h/c)
Nothing for sale.
Its been 30 years since I last visited the Horspath Road Athletics Stadium, just outside Oxford city’s limits. I was right back as the 26th Oxford won the 1981 Headington District Cubs 11-a-side football tournament. I still have the medal but sadly it was the only award I ever won!
The two pitches used that day have long since gone, swallowed up by the landscaping for the new improved Athletics Stadium. Two other pitches behind the stadium do remain, and both Yellow Eagles and Iffley Harriers were playing home games.
Perhaps inevitably for an Oxford United suppporters’ team, the talk was of Peter Leven’s goal for Oxford United the previous day. I wondered how many pot-shots I’d see from long range. We didn’t, because both sides were committed to playing passing football. More unusual, was the attire of Sutton (Courtenay) midfielder Hayden Bedwell, Swindon Town shorts! It turned out he’s a season ticket holder at the County Ground, I remarked he was a brave man wearing such an item at this of all fixtures!
Just occasionally you get an interesting player in this fixture, this time it was Thom Airs, presenter at BBC Radio Oxford. Also of interest was substitute Rob Padbury, sporting blue hair, as he’d followed Oxford CITY to their FA Cup win at Weston-super-Mare. As the two games kicked off, you could hear another kicking off at the Rover Cowley ground, the other side of Horspath Road.
The Eagles, it turned out were far too strong for their visitors. The opening goal was a joy to watch, as David Phillips’ cross from the right found Lloyd Little, who’s feint wrong footed his marker and he finished neatly from 6 yards. It disn’t take long for Little to double his tally, rifling home follwoing a defensive error. That’s not to say that Sutton were without threat. Home keeper Hillsdon saved brilliantly from Boulton, before opposite number Worsley produced a great block just before half time.
When Ryan Simpson scored Yellows’ third and three substitutions followed soon after you felt that they were settling for what they’d got. I was pleased to see Sutton get one, Richards smashing home from inside the box, as they deserved at least that, but by then I was discussing with the substituted Bedwell exactly who we’d like to get in that lunchtime’s FA Cup 1st Round draw. That’s the beauty of Sunday League, you can have those kind of conversations.