Tuesday 14th August 2012 ko 7.45pm
Football League Cup First Round
OXFORD UNITED 0
AFC BOURNEMOUTH 0
Att 3,788 (691 away)
I seems like an age since I last watched a game at Grenoble Road, a mere shade under 3 months, 52 games and 3 countries ago. A lot has changed at OUFC, a new chairman, and new players, with others still missing. Michael Duberry is out long-term, having just had a worrying neck operation, Andy Whing’s injured too, and no one seems to know what Peter Leven’s prognosis is. On a trivial note what were the club doing charging £3 for a drastically thinner programme? Another change is Dad; he’s got a season ticket for this season, but now feels that the stairs to the upper tier are a bit much for him, so the club are letting him use the lift up to the disabled area near to his seat. Many thanks to the club for their kind gesture.
The League Cup is seeded in the early rounds, but Oxford United being us, managed to draw the lowest ranked seed in the competition! Still a home draw is not to be sniffed at under any circumstances. In many respects Bournmouth represent much that OUFC strive to be, playing at a division higher, at the centre of their community, well run, and retaining a vital ambition. So a good match, however obtained.
And, let’s be honest here, any home fan would have taken progression in the competition against a more highly ranked team. For me the issue was so many of the old frailties were in evidence. The principle one is Oxford United’s habit of taking far too many passes. I’m not advocating route one, but good football doesn’t have to mean passing even when a big target man is screaming out for a cross. On this occasion it didn’t matter, Bournemouth over-played too, and expensive talents such as Matt Tubbs and Lewis Grabban mis-fired, making a nil-nil draw likely from only few minutes in. It didn’t help either that referee Darren Drysdale was utterly hellbent on being the centre of attention, if the teams over-played then he over-lectured, and over-whistled. Oh, and another thing Mr Drysdale, you wore red, that’s Bournemouth’s colours, please desist.
It boiled down to penalties, and you really can’t argue with a team that scores all 5, even if Sean Rigg’s was his first in a competitive game. For the record it was Marc Pugh that missed for the Cherries, that was enjoyed by Timmy Mallett watching. It wasn’t by Ian Wright, scouting for the MK Dons, he left just after half-time.