This weekend sees Cheltenham make the short trip down the A40 to contest the 'Cotswold Derby' (apparently) and look likely to bring a large following...for Cheltenham, anyway. Matt Peck is on hand to examine the relatively short Football League history between the two sides and to compare Cheltenham's frighteningly impressive form to our own.
Oxford: LWWLL (6 pts)
Cheltenham Town: WLWWW (12 pts)
Times played (at Oxford): 5
Cheltenham Town: 0
Cheltenham Town: 2
Last league Result (At Oxford): (29 January 2011)
Oxford United 1 v 1 Cheltenham Town
Craddock (33’) Thomas (25’)
Cheltenham Town have never won at Oxford in a Football League game, achieving a draw twice in the short League history of this fixture, and first visiting the Kassam in November 2001. It was Oxford’s 5th win at their new home, and the 3-0 scoreline was the most convincing result up to that point.
Last season’s game was not out of the ordinary for Oxford's 2010/2011 season. Carved open at the back in the opening 25 minutes and going a goal down, before coming back into the game, grabbing an equaliser on 35 thanks to a bundled effort from Tom Craddock. Cheltenham could feel aggrieved for not registering their first win in Oxford after seeing a penalty saved by Ryan Clarke in the 80th minute.
Recent form suggests this fixture to be Cheltenham’s, having picked up double the amount of points that Oxford have over the last 5 games. Cheltenham also travel well; collecting 16 points on their travels this season, something that only Southend and Morecambe can better. Oxford’s home form is solid too, unbeaten in the league, but only winning 4 of their 8 games.
Oxford are one of only 9 clubs in the Football League to remain unbeaten at home, Shrewsbury Town being the only other from League Two.
Oxford have the third best average attendance in the league at 7,367. Only Swindon (who have had their numbers distorted by the 12100 attendance in August) and Bradford have a higher average.
Cheltenham Town have only dropped 2 points after scoring first all season, this occurring in their game away against Torquay where they opened the scoring after just 4 minutes, thanks to a Josh Low goal. The game finished 2-2.
Oxford have the best record in the first half. If all matches ended after 45 minutes, Oxford would be 2 points clear at the top of the table. Our second half performance would put us 22nd!
Cheltenham have also fared rather better than Oxford against top half opposition, gaining 10 points from 7 games compared to Oxford’s 7 points from the same number of matches.