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Old 01-10-2019, 13:52   #1
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2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Accrington Stanley

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Oxford United FC


2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v The Dreaming Spires (home)

After a very Norman Vaughan start to the season – 5 points in their first seven games, one win, 10 scored but 15 conceded and 20th place – The Dreaming Spires (the name comes from Victorian poet Matthew Arnold’s poem ‘Thyrsis’, where he called Oxford “the city of dreaming spires” – so I haven’t made it up) have had an impressive fortnight; they played four games between 14th and 28th September, won 3 (Tranmere and Gillingham, both by 3-0 at home, and Lincoln 6-0 away), and scraped a goalless Desmond at Burnden Park (or whatever damn silly name it has now); Lincoln, after winning four of their first six (without conceding) – beating Fleetwood and us 2-0, Southend 4-0 and the Millers 2-0 away, and losing the other two (2-1 both times – MK Dons and Donnie away) – have drawn one and lost four of their last five – three defeats (including 6-0 as above) and the draw coming since Danny Cowley went to Huddersfield (where he’s on one draw and two defeats, GF3 GA7) ………… which isn’t much worse than Nathan Rentagob at Stoke! And the clock’s got to be ticking on HIM, you’d think

I watched the highlights on Sky (actually, there was only one, which was the softest goal of the season – but at least it was for us!). The Shrimpers’ lack of endeavour – especially around their own box – was very strange, and at the same time, woeful; they didn’t have a single shot on target and frankly they could have played till next Thursday and not scored ……………. The game was referred to as “disappointing” (I can’t comment) but we looked bright enough when we needed, and we didn’t appear to overdo the fancy-Dan stuff …………… and – miracle! - we managed to see out a lead! “Never in trouble”, I read …………… Onward and Upward!

Oxford was first settled by the Anglo-Saxons and was initially known as “Oxenaforda”, meaning "ford of the oxen"; in the 10th century, it became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex, and in 1002, loads of Danes (some Great, some Not) were killed in Oxford during the St. Brice's Day massacre ordered by Æthelred the Unready (although he can’t have been that Unready!). The massacre was a contributing factor to Denmark’s invasion of England in 1003 ……………. So they’ve got a lot to answer for! Furthermore, the City was badly damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066, and following the conquest the Governor (Robert D'Oyly, who went on later to write comic Operas with Gilbert O’Sullivan while seated in a Carte) ordered the construction of Oxford Castle to confirm Norman authority over the area. Apparently, the castle has never been used for military purposes (tourism only – he was a far-sighted bloke, was our Robert) and its remains survive to this day.

True or false? Oxford is twinned with: Bonn, Germany; Grenoble, France; Leiden, Netherlands; Manizales, Colombia; León, Nicaragua; Perm, Russia; Ramallah, Palestine; and Wrocław, Poland? Yup!

The Spires started out life as Headington (from 1911, Headington United, when they merged with Headington Quarry, and from 1960, Oxford United). The club was founded by Rev. John Scott-Tucker, the vicar at Saint Andrew's Church in Headington, and a local doctor named Robert Hitchings, both of whom should have had much more important things to be doing; a football team, apparently, was a way for the cricketers of Headington Cricket Club to maintain their fitness during the winter break. In 1925 they found a permanent home at – anybody? – the Manor Ground ………………. They applied for Headington to become a member of a new Second Division in the Southern League (other teams that applied included Weymouth, Kettering Town and Cambridge United). Although the plans were postponed, the SL First Division was going to be expanded by two clubs; Weymouth and Headington were elected (the latter getting one more vote than Llanelli), and they played their first season in the Southern League in 1949, the same year they turned professional.

In 1950, Headington United became the first professional club in Britain to install floodlights, and they first used them on 18 December against Banbury Spencer (the name taken from a character in Oscar Wilde’s “Importance of being Earnest” – ok, but if it wasn’t, it should have been!) They initially played in orange and blue shirts but changed to yellow (home) shirts – for no known reason - before the 1957–58 season. They were elected to the Football League in 1962, in circumstances too painful to discuss ………………. They won the promotion from the Fourth Division (finishing fourth in 1965 behind Brighton, Millwall and York), and won the Third Division title in 1968 by one point from RIP Bury (all under the management of Arthur Turner) ……

In 1982, as a Third Division side, Oxford United faced closure because of the club's inability to service the debts owed to Barclays Bank, but were rescued when infamous “businessman” Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch (aka Robert Maxwell) took over the club. In April 1983, Maxwell – who was to turn out to have misappropriated millions of pounds from his companies’ pension funds - proposed merging United with neighbours Reading, to form a new club to be called the Thames Valley Royals, who would play at Didcot. Bald Eagle Jim Smith would have managed the club and been assisted by Reading boss Maurice Evans. The merger was called off as a result of fans of both clubs protesting the decision.

They reached the First Division in 1985, being relegated in 1987/88; they were up and down like a whore’s drawers in the years that followed, eventually GreasyPoling into the Bananarama in 2005/06 ………. They re-joined the EFL via the playoffs in 2010, Doing It Unto Rushden and Diamonds in the semis, and to York (3-1) in the Final …………… York, you might have seen, currently top the Bananarama North with Chester second, and in the Bananarama Proper, Yeovil are third, Notts County are 8th, Barnet 9th, Torquay 10th, Hartlepool 16th, and the TwistySpires – managed by John Sheridan - 22nd

Oxford UpPoled to League One in 2016; last season, off the back of a record that read P46 W15D15 L16 GF58 GA64 Pts 60, they finished 12th, two places and five points above us ………… They let 13 go in the summer, most of whom I haven’t heard of (most of whom their Mothers haven’t heard of!) …………… CB (centre back, not Citizen’s Band) Curtis Nelson and RW Gavin Whyte joined Cardiff, isn’t it. Look you. Eisteddfod. Striker Jonathan Obika signed for St Helen Mirren, a bloke called Armani (no, seriously) went to Torquay, RB Charlie RaglanSleeve and striker Jonte Smith went to Cheltenham, GK Scott Shearer joined Uncontracted FC and CMF Dai Wai-tsun went to the Dogs - sorry, Wolves

They replaced them with eight, including CB Sam Allardyce from Bury (really? THE Sam Allardyce?), Wolves’ RB Kevin Berkoe (who, in his spare time, is still I think Speaker of the House of Commons), Charlton’s Tariqe Kumahl Malachi Akwesi Fosu-Henry, Scottish CMF Alex Gorrin from Motherwell, Rotherham RMF Anthony Forde (not to be confused with Rochdale’s Tony Ford, as in –“He’s big, he’s bad, he’s older than me Dad, Tony Ford, Tony Ford”), Foxes’ CB Elliott Moore, Burnley striker Dan Agyei, who scored Coventry’s fastest-ever goal at the Ricoh while on loan (19.5 seconds), and LW Oussama Zamouri, who came, as one of the last pre-Brexit imports, from Dutch First Division side FC Dordrecht (known to their fans as “De Schapenkoppen”, which roughly translates as “The Sheepheads”)

Last season they started with 5 points from their first 11 games and finished with 27 points from their last 13 games; this season their current away record is W1 D2 L3 GF10 GA8 ……………. Take away a random day trip to Lincolnshire and it would have been W0 D2 L3 GF4 GA8 ………… at home, it’s W3 D1 L1 GF12 GA7 ………….. overall, P11 W4 D3 L4 GF22 GA15 for 15 points and 10th place …………… without reciting all the scores between us, they have been, over the years, a bit of a Boogie – sorry, Bogey – side, although last year we did Put Them to the Sword (twice), 3-2 at theirs’ (goals by Billy Whizz x 2 and an OG) and 4-2 at ours’ (Kee, McConville, Clark and Armstrong (now, of course, at Salford MoneyBags)) ……………. Their current leading scorers are James Henry (who used to write novels under the name of Henry James) with 6, Tarique F-H with 5 (2 more than he scored for us while on loan in 2016), Cameron Brannagan with 4 and Matty Taylor with 3 …………

The largest recorded home attendance was against PNE in the sixth round of the FA Cup, at the Manor Ground, on 29 February 1964. (22,750 – more than the maximum capacity). Their biggest League win was 7–0 against Barrow in Division Four, their heaviest defeat is 7–0 away to Sunderland in 1998, and again to Wigan Athletic in 2017. John Shuker holds the record for the most league appearances with 478 between 1962 and 1977; John Aldridge holds the record for most league goals scored in one season (1984–85) scoring 30; Graham Atkinson holds the record for the most league goals with 77, as well as most overall goals with 107. The biggest fee Oxford have received by selling a player was an estimated £3 million for Kemar Roofe's (to Leeds United in July 2016) The largest transfer fee Oxford have paid was £470,000 for Dean Windass from Aberdeen in August 1998 (was he worth it?) And Oxford are the only team in history to have been promoted consecutively from the old Division Three to the equally First Division as Champions (1983/84 and 1984/85)

Famous Managers include the Bald Eagle (three times), ex Ipswich and Arsenal Brian Talbot, Chris (the Blades) Wilder (who took them back up to the League in 2010), Graham Rix, Brian Horton and Mark Lawrenson …………… players of note include John Aldridge, Big Ron Atkinson, James Constable (the noted English painter – see “The Haywain”), Ray Houghton and Dean Saunders; not all of those were on the way up in their careers!

Deadline for entries is, as always, scheduled kick-off time, which is 3.00pm on Saturday 5th October ……………. You may have noticed that there’s no Starter for Ten this week; what there is, though is a Puzzle for you ……… I’ve embedded in the thread the names of six members of the cast of a well-known TV Detective series set among the Spires (this is the names of the characters, not the actors); can anybody find all six? – and as a clue, they were all in at least five episodes of the show in question ……………. Good hunting!

PS - Note to self – Oxford haven’t conceded in their last four; that needs to stop NOW!

Good luck to everyone! …………. Keep the Faith! (which is easier after a win and a clean sheet) ………………. And thanks for playing!



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Old 01-10-2019, 13:56   #2
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

2-0 Stanley by the way Accringtons also been twinned did yeh know? With Hell.
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Old 01-10-2019, 15:45   #3
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Stanley 3 - 2 Oxford
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Old 01-10-2019, 16:24   #4
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Accrington Stanley 2-1 Oxford United
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Old 01-10-2019, 16:39   #5
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

3-1 to the Stanley please.
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Old 01-10-2019, 17:12   #6
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

2 apiece each for me please
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Old 01-10-2019, 18:01   #7
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Stanley 2 Oxford 1
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Old 01-10-2019, 18:41   #8
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Stanley 3-0 Oxford
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Old 01-10-2019, 19:41   #9
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

2 each please
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Old 01-10-2019, 20:42   #10
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Just don't know about this one, fence sitting for me 1-1
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Old 01-10-2019, 23:48   #11
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

1 0 win for Stanley please
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Old 02-10-2019, 15:07   #12
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

2-0 to the Stanley please D3N.
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Old 02-10-2019, 20:01   #13
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Accrington Stanley 1-2 Oxford United
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Old 02-10-2019, 21:59   #14
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

Accrington Stanley 2 - 1 Oxford United Please tor me
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:37   #15
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Re: 2019/20 Prediction League; Game 12 v Oxford Utd (home)

I'll agree with mab and go along with a 2 - 1 Stanley win.
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