Today, Oxford played out a thrilling 2-1 victory over Port Vale at the Kassam Stadium. On this day 15 years ago, it was their potteries rivals, Stoke City, who made the trip to the Manor. The intervening 15 years demonstrate how fortunes can change, as Oxford and Port Vale have both tumbled from the second tier to make today's match a Fourth Division affair, while Stoke of course find themselves in the Premier League and contesting cup finals.
United started the match in a decent league position, but had recently struggled to find the net and had not scored at all in the previous six games. The visitors, meanwhile, were chasing a playoff spot but arrived at the Manor in inconsistent form. On the day, Oxford somehow found their scoring boots, putting Stoke to the sword with four goals, Martin Gray heading Oxford ahead in the first half to end the scoring drought. The lead was doubled in direct fashion, Mark Angel running through the middle of the Stoke defence and powering a shot into the bottom corner. Though Stoke pulled one back early in the second half, Oxford's dominance continued as Nigel Jemson and Martin Aldridge added another two goals in similar route one style to finish the rout.