Wednesday 17th April 2013 ko 18.30
Oxon Senior League Division One
NORTHWAY 3 (Welby 37 Simpson 62 Albin 66)
YARNTON 4 (Steele 4 Marsh 17 Webb 25 83) Marsh missed penalty 34
Nothing for sale
The Parish of New Marston, in Oxford used to be part of Headington, and the cottages and stone fronts of Old Headington soon give way to the red brick and concrete of the newer estate as you head down the hill on Dunstan Road. The vast majority of the estate was built in the 20th century, when the County Borough of Oxford developed estates of council houses around Marston Road and north of Headley Way. The County Borough had built 138 council houses at New Marston by 1938 and added another 70 after 1950. More recently the influx of Eastern Europeans saw the local church in Ferry Road become Russian Orthodox and be restyled Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. A small gold cupola has been added too!
In the middle of it all is the Northway estate, and the huge Plowman Tower which dominates what is in all but name, a village green surrounded on three sides by roads. The Northway club is a community centre and social club here with the shops and buses leaving city centre bound from opposite the club. It’s nothing if not convenient if you want to watch a game, especially if you happen to live in the first few floors of the tower! As convenient as it all is, Northway cannot progress further than Oxon Senior League football here, assuming they’d want to. There is no hard standing, its barely enclosed, and there’s no cover save for the odd tree. But then again, do they really need more?
And if the delights of the Oxon Senior League aren’t to your taste, the floodlights of Court Place Farm, home to Oxford City are clearly visible a couple of hundred yards away. In fact my only regret in attending this game was that one of the shops wasn’t a Fish and Chips Shop. Sometimes on a windy night, only a bag of chips will do!
Not that there was anything wrong with the entertainment on offer, with two contrasting sides on view. Yarnton are former Hellenic Leaguers and the well-to-do village has been inhabited since Bronze Age times. They looked highly organised with no lack of trainers and looked smart in their club tracksuits. In contrast Northway’s manager did everything, and had clearly arrived straight from work.
Maybe that was why Yarnton made such as good start, they scored 3 in 25 minutes, and missed a penalty 10 minutes after that. What was noticeable was that the Northway heads didn’t drop, and the manager was positive throughout. The comeback started with Lewis Welby’s fine strike before half time, and they managed to keep the momentum going after the break.
I wondered when Yarnton would fine their feet again, but Northway kept piling on the pressure. Anthony Simpson mugged the keeper for the second and when Nick Albin nodded home from a corner there looked to be only one winner, but when a game is this good, there’s sting in the tail.
The Yarnton bench castigated striker John Webb for not tracking back, and clearly stung by the criticism, he let fly from 20 yards, and the ball fairly whistled in! Cruel on Northway, who had nothing left with which to respond. Breathless stuff on a windy night, with 2 friendly sides whose company I enjoyed. I feel a trip to Yarnton coming on!