nPower League Two
Chesterfield 1 OUFC 2
Quite an effort to get up to Chesterfield on a Tuesday night for me.
For a start - I work in South Kent. So had to take a half-day really to have any hope of making this fixture.
So I did take one.
A few people thought I was a mental. "Why are you going up there, a 300-mile round trip, on a freezing November evening, to watch us almost certainly get dicked by the league leaders?"
Well, I don't know really. The same reason I cried at Wembley I guess - because I love the football club. Can't really explain away such irrationality. And so, fully expecting not to be back home till 1am, anticipating a likely miserable defeat, I still decided to set off to North Derbyshire.
I left London at about 2pm for the trudge up the M1, actually not realising quite how far up Chesterfield was until I got to the outskirts of town and saw that Sheffield was only 12 miles away. My heart sank a little, thinking about the journey home.
|Spire: Out of Shape|
Very little else to see or do before the match, but I did manage to get some shoddy service in a fast-food establishment, which seems to be becoming a bit of a regular matchday experience.
The establishment in question was one of those Chinese takeaways with a sideline of Fish & Chips. I've always thought them an odd thing - why is it only Chinese takeaways that decide to stick a fryer on the counter and offer saveloys alongside their chop suey? You never see Indian takeaways doing that do you?
Anyway, if they are going to sideline into a different cuisine, the least they can do is put someone on the counter who knows what it is. When I asked the young chap for a Chip Cob, he looked at me perplexed. You may think this not that unusual, as unless you have spent time living in the Midlands yourself, you might wonder what the feck a cob is yourself.
A cob is a bread roll to us Southerners, or a bap or barm to those of a more Northerly persuasion. In the Midlands though - it's a cob. I know this as I lived in Leicester as a child and my father is from Mansfield.
I could tell the chap in the takeaway was from China by his heavy accent, and so yes, might not have had this ingrained knowledge from a young age such as I did. But he was living in Chesterfield, where Cob is an often-bandied about term. He was also working in a fish & chip shop, where a Chip Cob would be an oft-asked for local item. To top it all off, 'Chip Cob' was also number 114 on the pigging menu in front of him.
He had no fucking idea what I was asking for. He kept asking "Chip what?" and gesturing if I meant I wanted chips in a plastic tray. He even asked me to show him what number it was on the menu, but that didn't help, and he had to get the manager. Very poor.
I'm not going to name and shame this establishment, but it WAS the New Dragon Inn on the Sheffield Road.
When the Chip cob eventually came, it certainly did warm the cockles however, on what was becoming a very cold night, a long way from home. My mind again flitted back to the long drive ahead as I pulled on my thermal coat, hat and scarf, and trudged into the new stadium of the current league leaders.
|B2net Stadium: New.|
My answer was that I'd probably head home if Chesterfield went 3 goals up. So had my confidence been dented by a month of mediocre and at times piss-poor football from Oxford. How fickle, and how wrong I had been.
We were amazing. At times, Chesterfield showed why they are up at the top and bossed the midfield and looked dangerous upfront - but we seemed to be matching them. At Half-Time, all of the 348 Oxford in attendance seemed pretty positive of our chances of getting something from this, if we carried on taking it to them like we had done in the first 45.
And oh, how we took it to them. What a Second Half. There were scares at the end as Chesterfield chased the game, but we deserved that result, and not a man amongst the Oxford on the pitch comes out of last night with anything but the utmost credit.
As for the fans, well, we were rather excited too. Check out the look on this old boy's face below - one of many, myself included, who made the journey home happy, buzzing and content at the long trip North.
|Oxford Fan at Full-Time: Rather Happy.|
Madness. But worth it.