Football Blues March On

Oxford continue their 100% start to the season with two more wins in fourth week

Blues Football

The Blues made it three wins from their first three league matches and remain top of the table after a 2-0 home win over Loughborough University fourth team on Wednesday. They followed up that result with a comprehensive 6-1 win against a combined London Universities XI under the floodlights at Iffley Road on Friday night.

A goal in either half, the first from Adam Healy and the other from Alex Biggs, secured Oxford a comfortable win against Loughborough.

Captain Sam Donald said that the Blues “really stepped up, and got a performance to match our recent results” adding that they have had “the perfect start” to their league campaign, whilst coach Mickey Lewis thought that they “could have won by four or five”.

Goal scorer Alex Biggs reported for OUAFC that “Loughborough were poor in possession… midfielders Julian Austin and Jack Fletcher had lots of joy”, whilst “wingers Sam Donald and Ezra Rubenstein caused all kinds of problems.”

New Blues stash

Healy’s goal came from an Ant Beddows free-kick with which the visitors failed to deal and Biggs’s effort was a curled cross which eluded everybody to drop in at the far post.

The Blues went into the Friday night match full of confidence. Joe Kelly was there for The Tab and reported:

A floodlit Friday friendly saw a stunning performance from the Blues as they slotted six past a hapless London Universities side. The quality of the performance was enough to warm the hearts of the fans on a bitterly cold night at Iffley Road.

The omens were bad for the London side from the start as a floodlight failure during the warm-up sent them scampering back to the dressing room. The Blues however braved the darkness, proving that both the night and the opposition held no fear for them.

With the lighting issue solved just minutes before kick-off both sides struggled to settle in a tight opening ten minutes. However, once the Blues clicked there was only one side in it as the Londoners were mercilessly put to the sword.

The dark conditions made dealing with crosses a nightmare and the Blues exploited this beautifully for their first goal. Tricky winger Ed Grimer shimmied past two men on the edge of the box before whipping in a teasing cross that was finished off by Alex Biggs, bombing on from left back to meet the ball at the back post.

This goal opened the floodgates as the Blues’ flowing football left the London Unis defence all at sea. Constant pressing and hard running meant the visitors never had a moment’s rest on the ball as they tried to fight off what was looking like a heavy defeat.

The sound of nearby fireworks echoed around Iffley as the first half wore on. The off-field pyrotechnics were matched by the on pitch action as flame-haired forward Julian Austin bagged a brace, his two goals coming either side of a fine finish by skipper Sam Donald to send Oxford in 4-0 up at half time.

The goal-hungry Blues looked to pick up from where they left off as the second half started, creating a number of chances in the opening minutes. Casey O’Brien and Ben May both failing to punish a leaky London back line.

View from the director’s box at Iffley Road

When the fifth goal came it was a real cracker, a first time finish from Sam Firman that fizzed into the back of the net. Grimer completed the rout popping up at the back post to power in Firman’s low cross; this was a deserved goal for the winger who had terrorised the London defence all night.

London were able to snatch a late consolation, but this was little comfort as they trudged miserably off at the final whistle, beaten, cold and desperate to go home. The Blues can be expected to take a great deal of confidence from this rout and now turn their focus back to their excellent start in the league.

Their next game is at home to the Loughborough University third team on Wednesday of fifth week.

Goals from Nicholas Carlon and Matt Smith gave the Centaurs a 2-0 away win in a cup match against Nottingham University third team on Wednesday which sees them also maintain a 100% start to the season.

Meanwhile the Women’s Blues poor run of results continued with a 3-1 loss to the Birmingham University second team, Tina Gough scoring Oxford’s only goal. They play Cambridge this Wednesday.