Tuesday 25th October 2011 ko 7.45pm
OXFORD UNITED 5 (R Hall 15 67 Constable 71 90 Leven 77)
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 1 (Walton 55p)
Att 7,802 (722 away)
Entry Season Ticket
Programme £3 (including Oxford Mail)
This blog really isn’t about my regular trips to watch Oxford United home games, but this one really did give a lot to both write and think about.
Before the game flowers were laid behind the goal by the parents of Jack Hatton a fan who recently lost his battle with Leukaemia at the age of just 19. He was a brave lad, and as Peter Rhoades-Brown recalled, Jack told him that although he was in pain, had lost his hair, and felt lousy,it could be a lot worse; he could be a Swindon fan! The club, and the city are fortunate to have Peter, a great ambassador.
The vistors are in all kinds of trouble, with massive debts, unpaid staff and are rock bottom of the league. Non-League football looks almost inevitable. Yet over 700 made the long journey, and sang their hearts out. You could look at the score too and imagine this was an easy home win, it certainly wasn’t. You see Argyle aren’t the the quintessential basket case League 2 club. Yes, they are a team of unknowns with the odd journeyman thrown in for good measure, but they gave this game a real go.
In fact for a long time the difference was Oxford United wunderkind Rob Hall. A native of Aylesbury, he’s a West Ham asset on loan to gain experience. I suspect the experience is doing him good but Oxford a whole heap more! For me he’s the best finisher at the club since Dean Windass. His second, a stunning volley from a cross from the right will live long in the memory. In fact, it was that goal that really broke Plymouth’s resistance, and as the goals rained in I was pleased for my club but sad for my mate Mike Sampson a massive Argyle fan and the rest of their magnificent support.
I suspect that maintaining league status will be too much for Plymouth this season, but I would imagine that those connected with them will be pleased just to see them still in business this time next year.