26 September 2016

Oxford 1 Charlton 1

 It's tempting to say more about the trip to Oxford than the game, just as it was more tempting to stay in the pub (Beerd, on George Street) than to get the bus, the slow, slow bus, to the Kassam Stadium and my lofty seat offering an excellent view of the car park.

The first 45 minutes didn't help, don't help. A fairly frantic opening saw Charlton pressing for about 5 minutes, then Declan Rudd making an excellent save before the game subsided into a low quality affair, Charlton ever more defensive and Oxford unable to make any clear chances.

Half time came along with its village fete style entertainment featuring a man in drag (on a stag, was his excuse) and his best man trying to catch a football in a wheelie bin. It was both less and more amusing than it sounds. Generally their efforts were about as successful as the two teams' had been.

The second half promised more of the same. Charlton's goal came from a penalty, one of the clearest and most unnecessary handballs I've ever seen, and was confidently put away by Johnnie Jackson. Charlton, particularly after Ricky Holmes came on, pressed forward more, overstretched and let Oxford equalise. It was a pretty good game from then onwards but both sides didn't look particularly likely to score and didn't.

A packed bus, a slow, slow bus, took us back to town and a packed train - three coaches, GWR? Who do you think you are, Southeastern? - got me back to London.

It looks like this might be the last game I'll see for a while. All the away games next month are problematic for me in their own way so perhaps I'll try the non-league experience again.

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