Date: 8th May 2011 at 8:29pm
Written by:

FINALLY it’s over. A horrible season that never got going and, to the delight of our rivals, concluded in Swindon Town’s relegation in to the dreaded basement division of the football league.

Since it was blatantly obvious that we were going down (timescale depends on who you are talking too) many Town fans have been on a quest to discover some kind the silver lining. It didn’t take too long to find that tiny glimpse of hope for a bit of excitement ahead… and light is the re-birth of the Oxford United derby.

It’s been a while, too long and the last time out didn’t end well for Town.

Not that Oxford fans will care but the BBC televised F.A. Cup encounter was a turgid affair, certainly not the exciting prospect John Motson predicted when the draw was made!

It was won in the 65th minute when Scott McNiven launched one those awkward long throws in to Town’s area (you know the sort of throw that many within the media believe Rory Delap invented!) and was met by the head of Jefferson Louis, 1-0.

That was back in December 2002, eight long years for both clubs. Swindon have been gloriously inconsistant, two third tier Play-Off campaigns, two relegations and a few dull mid-table campaigns added for extra measure.

Meanwhile much to our delight, Oxford fell out of the Football League for a few years and returned in 2010. Delightful because although United had the derby bragging rights, Town fans could at least fire the ol’ Football League status right back at them. Maturity was never the strong point of a football fan.

Oxford United have enjoyed those bragging rights for eight years and you can understand why they enjoy it so much. We can argue all day long with them but the fact remains that as far as rivalries go, Swindon have the overwhelming better head-to-head history over our yellow friends.

(all competitions)

23 wins for Swindon Town
10 wins for Oxford United
20 draws

Not pretty viewing for the Yellows.

The problem with this rivalry is that it’s quite low profile, especially outside the Westcountry and Thames Valley.

I think, ‘Football Factory’ wannabes aside, we’ve both got to the stage where many are quite undecided as to whether to look forward to these two meetings. Frankly, I think both clubs should be doing everything they can to promote this fixture – I’m not writing about the grizzly aspects of football culture but over the last few years both clubs have had to adopt rivalries with clubs to make life a little bit interesting. Isn’t about time that we had our rivalry back?

Typing all this is irrelevant really, this is useless unless both the Swindon Town and Oxford United players realise how much this will mean to many of our supporters.

Do you think the likes Simon Ferry or Paul Caddis know anything about this rivalry? Of course not! Do you think they would thrive in this fixture? I do.

…and then there’s Gillingham…!


Town vs. United: Last 3 meetings

08/12/02: OUFC 1-0 STFC

OU: Jefferson Louis (65′)

OUFC: Andy Woodman, Scott McNiven, Dave Waterman, Andy Crosby, Matt Bound, Matt Robinson, James Hunt, Bobby Ford (Dean Whitehead 87′), Dave Savage, Jefferson Louis, Steve Basham (Abdou Sall 90′)

STFC: Bart Griemink, Gareth Edds (Adam Willis 73′), Matt Heywood, Alan Reeves, David Duke, Stefani Miglioranzi, Matt Hewlett, Johnnie Jackson (Dave Bampton 79′), Eric Sabin (Alan Young 86′), Sam Parkin, Danny Invincibile

10/03/01: OUFC 0-2 STFC

ST: Steve Robinson (29′)
ST: Steve Robinson (90′)

OUFC: Richard Knight, John Robertson, Paul Powell (Joey Beauchamp 72′), Jon Richardson, Wayne Hatswell, Darren Patterson, Matt Murphy, Paul Tait (Manny Omoyinmi 90′), Dean Whitehead, Steve Anthrobus (Peter Fear), Phil Gray.

STFC: Steve Mildenhall, Sol Davis, Alan Reeves, Matt Heywood, Mark Robinson, Ian Woan, Matt Hewlett, Steve Robinson, Giuliano Grazioli (Danny Invincibile 75′), Michael Reddy, Gary Alexander.

08/10/11: STFC 2-1 OUFC

ST: Alan Reeves (20′)
OU: Guy Whittingham (61′)
ST: Giuliano Grazioli (78′)

STFC: Bart Griemink, Sol Davis, Adam Willis, Alan Reeves, Mark Robinson, David Duke (Andy Williams 77′), Matt Hewlett, Keith O’Halloran, Danny Invincibile (Antoine Van der Linden 89′), Gary Alexander (Giuliano Grazioli 77′), Martin Williams.

OUFC: Richard Knight, Jon Richardson, Lee Jarman, Neil McGowan (John Robertson 82′), Matt Murphy, Paul Tait (Jamie Brooks 82′), Joey Beauchamp (Leon Mike 87′), Dean Whitehead, Sam Ricketts, Derek Lilley, Guy Whittingham.

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