Guest writer Nathan Norris, talks about the potential loss of the Swindon/Oxford derby next season, with Oxford facing relegation to the Conference.
Oxford In The Conference?
With our own relegation confirmed last week at Bristol after a spirited performance, the reaction of hearing that rivals Oxford United had dropped into the Division Four relegation zone gave us something to smile about. But do Swindon Town fans really want Oxford United to go down after so long without the derby?
Swindon Town have been facing relegation since August, and all the time the only positive to draw from this was, ‘…at least we get to play Oxford’. If this is our only silver lining to relegation, why the jubilation at Oxford’s possible relegation?
I think it’s fair to say that Swindon fans have been on the receiving end of many taunts this season, particularly from their yellow friends. I believe this is the main reason to the joy – yes we’ve got relegated but at least we are still in the football league. I for one find their situation hilarious.
However, I must admit that a big part of me would like to see them defeat Leyton Orient, for the simple reason of having our proper derby back.
The last time the two clubs met was on a forgettable day for Town fans, losing 1-0 in the 2nd round of the FA Cup in 2002. To make it worse, it was available for millions of viewers to see on BBC 2. Despite this, the league meetings between the sides have usually swung in Swindon?s favour. Who can forget Turbo?s double at the Manor in 2001 sending the hardcore Town fans behind the goal into hysteria? Or the 4-1 wins in the late 90?s? These are some of my favourite memories as a Town fan and who knows what another couple of Swindon/Oxford derbies could produce.
Of course, there is a huge possibility we could lose both games and face even more taunts, but I think it?s worth the risk. Having said this, I won?t be disappointed if Leyton Orient?s 5000 fans cheer them on to victory and send Oxford to the Conference, ironically being replaced by Accrington Stanley; the team Oxford replaced in 1962.
Oxford United v Leyton Orient is a huge game for both sides, arguably the biggest game in both teams? history. A sell out at the United Stadium has been confirmed, and a roller coaster ride for both teams is expected. I?m sure many Swindon Town fans will be playing close attention as their own team faces their final game in League One against play-off bound Huddersfield.
I can understand why many fans want the scum to go down, but do we really want Cheltenham to be our rivals next season? (providing they don?t go up, of course!)