Monday, 23 January 2012

My First Oxford Match: Matt Peck

Next to regale us with memories of his first Oxford match is statistician extraordinaire, Matt Peck, with his account of a Conference clash against Cambridge United in front of the Setanta Sports cameras. To add your own experience to this growing collection, simply email your recollections of your first Oxford United match to

Oxford United 3-1 Cambridge United (23/09/08)

Not having the means to get to Oxford City Centre easily, let alone Headington or the Kassam meant my first live game was when I was 18. I had just passed my driving test, and for the first time had the opportunity, and the means to get to a live football match. Working every Saturday drastically limited my game selection, so when my mates and I looked at the fixture list one Sunday afternoon in August 2008, we decided that the Tuesday night game against Cambridge was the one to go to. Also, with the game being shown live on the now-defunct Setanta Sports TV it had the feeling of a big match.

With the tickets bought, the luke warm burger and undercooked chips safely consumed we all headed into the ground. The giddy feeling I got when I walked through the tunnel and out into the stand was brilliant, and I still get that rush of adrenaline even now. Under the floodlights, the pitch looked amazing, and much larger than I expected it to. The chants of “We all hate Setanta” made me laugh, and soon I was consumed by the atmosphere, joining in chants and songs without really knowing the words!

I remember very little about the match itself, other than the score line, and the yellow card for an Oxford player in the opening 20 seconds. I don’t even remember who scored the goals, but the noise when Oxford re-gained the lead, right in front of me, will stay with me forever, much like Alfie Potter’s goal at Wembley. Different time, situation, and much more at stake for the latter, but for me they ignite the same feeling of joy when replaying them.

Walking away from the match, I was already itching to get home, read the match report and look at the photos; I do the same even now!

Since getting the live football bug, I’ve gone to every Oxford match I can get to, which hasn’t been many due to work, but I now book my annual leave around the fixture list to ensure I can get to as many as possible.  


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