There was no game in mind as I set off this morning, I was just going off the forecast that said the weather was "slightly better" down south, so it was down the M6 one headed. I stopped the car at that central point where the all the motorways meet just south of Birmingham and begin the arduous task of phoning around to see what had survived.
After around 25 minutes I eventually phoned Didcot Town, where to my delight they said there was no problems with the pitch and no inspection was planned as it was in great playable nick (that was spot on by the way). That was good enough for me. Ironically, just up the road both Banbury and Oxford United's games were called off, but this worked in Didcot's favour as it swelled the gate to over 500, double their average. Didcot Town now play at the (NPower) Loop Meadow, which celebrated being open a decade this year, having previously played at Station Road, near the railway, hence their nickname of The Railwaymen. They were playing Oxford City in a big local derby and what a treat they served up.
The game finished 4-4, aye 4-4!!
The game got of to a flying start with three goals in the first ten minutes. Jon Douglas headed Oxford City in front after two minutes. Didcot equalised from an Alex Stanley corner four minutes later as his kick was fired home by Mark Draycott (see below). After just ten minutes Phil John crossed the ball in from the right and Draycott was allowed a free header to put The Railway men 2-1 up. On 36 minutes Oxford won a free kick wide on the right which Steve Davis crossed in and went through the defence to the far post where Mark Janes finished from close range.
Mark Draycott then claimed his hat-trick on 75 minutes when he converted another Phil John cross. Five minutes later a long ball over the back four fell to Liam Malone who shrugged off a defender to force the ball home. All square again! However his joy was shortlived as three minutes later and he was sent off after the referee decided his tackle was worthy of a second yellow card. In the 89th minutes Lee Steele, looking suspiciously offside, chased a hopeful ball forward, reached it before onrushing 'Keeper Trott and rounded him to roll the ball into an empty net for what looked like the winner.
However deep into stoppage time the referee awarded Didcot a free kick on the edge of the area. The ball was fired hard into a packed goalmouth where it dropped to Phil John who took a touch and hit a low shot just inside the 'keepers right-hand post to claim a (deserved) share of the points. A real Christmas cracker indeed!
So this blog ends another (calendar) year of groundhopping. Merry Xmas and Here's to 2010, I sincerely hope it's a good one! :)
There was actually so much that went on in the game, i'm gonna post a link to a more in depth report so you can fill in the gaps so to speak http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/oxfordcityfc/?primary=senior&secondary=matchreports&team_id=1289&report_id=45210