Saturday 23rd February 2012 ko 15.00
OXFORD UNITED 0
YORK CITY 0
Att 5,808 (319 away)
Programme £3 (inc Oxford Mail)
I’ve been in colder grounds, and I’ve seen worse games of football, but this encounter was definately the worst combination of the two I’ve seen in many a long year. The club designated the game as “Military Day” so real heroes were much to the fore, with Chelsea Pensioners, and the Royal British Legion providing a guard of honour for the two teams. It really should have been the other way round.
It was plain embarrassing to watch the officials rope in substitute keeper Max Crocombe to first measure one goal, then once it had been proven it wasn’t level to help the groundstaff to level to offending frame. Having Rugby at the ground does mean the goals do get removed regularly, but to not check something as basic as this is indefensible.
It came as no surprise that Chris Wilder selected an unchanged team from the eleven that provided a welcome, away win at Plymouth. It’s fair to say that whilst the United’s defence had precious little to do, the attack, save for Josh Parker looked as unlikely as ever to trouble the scoresheet. Passes were miss-placed, shots disappeared into the ether, and there was a distinct lack of ideas of how to change things to beat a frankly poor York side, that were more than happy with a point.
Alfie Potter replaced the anonymous Tom Craddock, and Deane Smalley was brought on to play out of place on the wing to replace a specialist in that position, Sean Rigg. Oxford puffed, York prevaricated, and the crowd shivvered, frustrated in the cold. Chris Wilder glumly looked on, hands in pockets, shoulders hunched against the cold and the brickbats.
It really was a nothing game in a nothing season. They’ll be no playoffs, or looking the other way, relegation. Just a series of underwhelming games to see out the season, before there’ll undoubtedly be a mass cull of the personnel. The only question is who, and does it involve the non-playing staff too? Given the lack of information eminating from the club, your guess is as good as mine.