Saturday 16th March 2013 ko 15.00
OXFORD UNITED 0
CHESTERFIELD 1 (Richards 5)
Att 6,003 (385 away)
Programme £3 (inc Oxford Mail)
A few Oxford United games ago, I commented that the rest of the season would consist of a series of meaningless games, with no possibility of promotion or relegation. Yes, the league table suggests still the possibility of both but take Tuesday’s last-minute win in tandem with this, and what do you get? Two goals in five minutes that utterly cancel out both each other and the two results.
It was the same old story too, one defensive slip, and an excellent finish by Marc Richards and that was it. You could have spared yourself the cold and scuttled home. United huffed and puffed and did easily enough to warrant a victory but as ever the Achilles heel was the finishing. If Alfie Potter could shoot straight both he and OUFC would be playing in League 1, and the proved goalscorer James Constable has developed an annoying habit of trying to smash the leather from the ball ever time he gets a chance. Tom Craddock, ever the mystery wrapped up in an enigma suffered the indignity of being replaced by someone who can’t even claim his goalscoring touch has deserted him, Deane Smalley, as its never been there during his two-season stint here.
Smalley did at least endear himself to himself to the home fans by picking up an unusual booking. Chesterfield left-back Nathan Smith picked up an knock, and received treatment. He carried on but realised he couldn’t carry on, so waited for a throw in. He limped off the pitch to the ball, kicked it away, then walked back onto the pitch and then fell over. With referee Darren Bond not understanding how his authority was being mocked, Smalley forcibly removed Smith from the pitch, and picked up the most popular yellow card I’ll see for a while!
Another game and another inconsistant performance. Soon the season will end, the departures will start and the rebuilding will begin. I suspect many fans are just counting down the hours.