Woking 0 Oxford 2 (13/04/09)
Both clubs were struggling to achieve different targets when they met for this spring game two seasons ago. Woking were battling to avoid dropping into the Conference South, while Woking were making a late run for the promotion play-offs. This attracted nearly 4000 fans to Woking’s home, Kingfield, half of whom were from Oxford.
This presented problems as Oxford had been mainly allocated a terrace down one side of the ground, and poor stewarding, mixed with a large slice of Oxford supporter bullishness, meant there were troubles fitting them all in. Eventually a section of the home end was opened for Oxford fans and the game started – an hour late.
Kingfield is certainly something of a mixed bag. The open side terrace, where the Oxford fans were, is never going to be anything special, but at least it was a proper terrace rather than the token effort with three or four steps found at some grounds. The bare corrugated sheeting of the industrial units behind, despite not being works of beauty to make citizens of Florence jealous, did at least give this side a sense of enclosure.
Opposite were three distinct sections of two small stands and a terrace. They were small but quite smart, and it has to be said, were not a million miles away from the three stands of Oxford’s old Ostler Road side at their Manor Ground – and that hosted top flight football for three years.
Behind one goal was a small covered terrace of just a few steps. Just large enough to merit one row of crush barriers in the middle, but you’d still struggle to see over the crossbar from the back.
Making the ground though, or breaking it if you take the view that it puts the rest of it in a bad light, is the stand at the other end. Built in more ambitious times, this modern stand holds over 2000 people in 20 steep rows of seats. It’s a stand that belongs higher up the league, but so probably does Woking FC, given that good support they’ve had over the years.
Staying in the league was their more modest objective this season though, but even that hope was in vain. They were nudged towards the trap-door by two early Oxford goals. An early low free kick into the bottom corner cracked them open, then a quick second ended the game as a contest. Woking never seriously threatened to pull one back, and Oxford strolled about, as if thinking about the next game, and the play-offs. As it was they’d end up disappointed too, with their late surge being a bit too late. Their dreams were still intact for one more weekend though.
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