Brookes vs. Blues Football Derby Goes Down to the Wire

Bragging rights were at stake as the Blues took on their local rivals on Wednesday, and the game was settled in the dying seconds

Blues Football

The Blues carried their pre-season form into their opening league game, away to neighbours Oxford Brookes at Abingdon United, emerging 2-1 winners thanks to a last-gasp Brookes own goal.

Having gone a goal down before half time, the visitors battled back into the game and were searching for a winner in the dying seconds. It came when the Brookes centre-back could only turn an Anthony Beddows header into his own net, to the delight of the Blues.

Alex Biggs had drawn the side level in the second half, ghosting into the box to slot home from Adam Healy’s long throw. Biggs said the Blues “started poorly, we were deservedly behind at the break, but came roaring back in the second half. Sustained pressure paid off in the final seconds, leaving us jubilant at the 2-1 success.”

Matches between the two sides are always eagerly anticipated and competitive encounters given the strong rivalry between Oxford’s two universities, and Brookes would have been desperate to avoid a repeat of their 3-0 loss in the fixture last season.

The boys in Pre-Season

Before the match, Blues captain Sam Donald described it- without the least hint of patronisation- as “Brookes’ biggest game of the season” and called for “the same intensity and quality we’ve shown in pre-season”.

Exeter College’s Ben May, who played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday, had called it “a must-win game…it’s more important than the 22 players on the pitch, it gives bragging rights to half the city”, whilst John Fletcher said “it’s a massive game, not just because it’s Brookes, but also because it’s the first game of the season. 3 points away from home would be huge” adding “they will be up for it.”

So they proved, but the Blues will be delighted to have extended their unbeaten run and got off to the perfect start to the season.

Elsewhere, the Centaurs won 1-0 against University College Birmingham’s first team thanks to a second half Matt Smith goal, the Development Squad drew 1-1 with Eton College and the Women’s Blues lost 2-1 to Coventry University.