Tag: Oxford United

1985/86 Week: The Contradictory & Counter-Intuitive Oxford United

Being the blank slate that it is, professional football can be infuriatingly counterintuitive, at times. The best don’t always achieve the most and the good guys don’t always win. And sometimes, a sequence of events can be triggered by a decision that looked crazy from the outset, but somehow forced itself to make sense when taken from a step of remove. In some cases, however, even that degree of sense from a distance is invisible, and there can, perhaps, be no better example of that than the sudden ascent of Oxford United in the middle of the 1980s. There...

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Match Of The Week: Stevenage Borough 1-0 Oxford United

It seems unlikely that any team in Britain has as important a week as Stevenage Borough have this week. Five points clear at the top of the Blue Square Premier, they face second placed Oxford United and third placed Luton Town on Saturday, before finishing off a run of three matches in six days with an away match against Wimbledon. If they win all three, they will be almost home and dry in the race for a place in the Football League. Should they falter, there is plenty of experience sitting just behind them in the table waiting for them to slip up. Even if things were to go wrong for them in the league, though, they’ve already got the not inconsiderable consolation of one trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy final, which they reached a couple of weeks ago, lined up. Tonight’s match against Oxford United might just prove to be the last chance saloon for their guests’ chances of winning automatic promotion from the Blue Square Premier this season. Going into the match, Stevenage are five points clear of Oxford, with a considerably greater goal difference. Oxford themselves were the early pace-setters, but their form has dipped in recent weeks. Their win against relegation fodder Gateshead on Saturday was their first in six matches, and that required a decisive goal in stoppage time to hand them...

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Match Of The Midweek I: Oxford United 2-0 Luton Town

We have three Matches Of The Week for you this week. Tomorrow night, it’s England vs Croatia in the World Cup qualifiers and on Thursday night the England Ladies Team take on Germany in the final of the European Women’s Championship in Helsinki. Tonight, though, we kick off with Oxford United vs Luton Town in the Blue Square Premier. Oxford United and Luton Town met this evening as non-league clubs for the first time, and it was an event. The two clubs were both in the First Division during the 1980s, and their subsequent relegation from the Football League have been the result of neglect on the parts of the people that owned their clubs. This is Oxford’s fourth season in the Blue Square Premier. They led the table for much of their first season before tailing off and losing in the play-off semi-finals against Exeter City. The following year they stayed in mid-table for much of the season and eventually settled in eleventh place, and last season finished just outside of the play-off places, four points off a play-off place after they were deducted five points for fielding an ineligible player. Luton Town started this season as the favourites to win the Blue Square Premier title, but things haven’t gone their way so far and the pressure is already starting to build upon manager Mick Harford. Their biggest...

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What’s Bad For Accrington May Be Good For Oxford

The tangled paths that various football clubs weave across each other don’t come much stranger than the ongoing saga of Accrington Stanley and Oxford United. When Accrington resigned their place in the Football League in controversial circumstances in 1962, Oxford were elected in their place. When Oxford surprisingly fell through the trap door and into the Blue Square Premier in 2006, Accrington were promoted in their place. Now, three years later, Oxford United are top of the Blue Square Premier after an outstanding start to the season and Accrington are staring the financial abyss square in the eye again. The club’s most recent difficulties started with the resignation of former chairman Eric Whalley, who took up a position at Chester City just a few weeks after quitting the club at the end of last season. The club was then landed with a winding up order from the Inland Revenue over an unpaid tax bill of £308,000. The club believed that it had reached an arrangement with their creditor to pay the debt back over twelve months, but this week they found themselves back up in court, with the petition having been represented. This time, the In land Revenue have given the club just eight weeks to find the money or be wound up. The question of how and why the club believed itself to have a twelve month arrangement...

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Oxford United & The Football Conference

Supporters of Blue Square Premier club Oxford United could be forgiven for wondering whether there is a conspiracy theory against them. They were relegated from the Football League after years of systematic maladministration, and it now seems that their attempts to get back into the League will be scuppered by more of the same, only this poor bureaucracy has come not only from within the club, but also from the Blue Square Premier itself. The row that has followed has rumbled all season, but recent developments have, if anything, cast doubt over the suitability of Brian Lee, the BSP’s chairman, to the position in which he finds himself. Three Blue Square Premier clubs, Oxford United, Mansfield Town and Crawley Town, and one Blue Square South club, Bognor Regis Town, were docked points earlier in the season for fielding ineligible players. This much is not disputed by anyone, including the clubs themselves. The clubs, however, complained about the way in which the league handled checking the registration of players, which seemed to involve the random spot-checking of team sheets rather than systematically checking all registrations. With seeming reluctance, the Football Conference held an internal investigation into their procedures and cleared themselves of any wrongdoing over the processing of these applications, but also promised to “monitor and observe any new procedures being developed in the national game that will further enhance...

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