Ground: Kassam Stadium
Date: 30th July 2005
Match: Oxford - Leicester 1-3 (Friendly)
Attendance: 2 129
Date: 7th May 2016
Match: Oxford - Wycombe 3-0 (League 2)
Attendance: 11 815
Report (Oxford vs Wycombe):
With the last round of matches in League 1 being played as early as 12.30 on Sunday (8 May) I had the chance to attend two games in England over the weekend and still being able to fly home on Sunday evening. The last day in League 2 was on Saturday afternoon and going through my options I decided to go to Oxford vs Wycombe. The next day I could then visit either Bury (vs Southend) or Oldham (vs Coventry). Back in 2005 I visited a friend of mine who lived in Oxford. Being in July there were no league games but we went to the friendly between Oxford and Leicester. Closing in on the 92 I have looked at possible games to visit the Kassam Stadium, the home of Oxford United, "for real". With Wycombe being Oxford´s local rivals and both team doing well in the league I decided this was a good opportunity to finally revisit Oxford. My journey started on Friday afternoon and at 16.00 I was at Heathrow. There are buses every 30 minutes to from Heathrow to Oxford. The journey takes around 90 minutes and around 18.30 I was in Oxford. I had booked a room at the Holiday Inn next to the Kassam Stadium and from my room I had a nice view of the ground. Kassam Stadium was opened in 2001 and has a capacity of 12 000. Unfortunately the west end of the ground is open and the ground looks a bit unbalanced. The ground is named after former chairman Firoz Kassam, who stills own the ground. From the city centre it is around 6 km to the ground and not wanting to sit in a local bus for 40 minutes I hired a taxi to get me to the ground. At least I had a short walk to the ground for the match!
Those of you who follow my travels know I have a Wycombe-supporting friend (Dale) and for this game he had been kind enough to to buy me a ticket in the away section. Around 13.00 Dale met up with me in the hotel lobby and we then went to his car to put my bag away. The hotel lobby was by now a bar for Oxford fans by the way. Dale and I went to the bowling center where we had a drink before making the short walk to the ground. The weather was really nice with around 20 degrees and some sunshine. When I booked the trip, in February, both Oxford and Wycombe were in the play-off zone but Wycombe have finished the season poorly and had nothing to play for this afternoon. For Oxford this was a very big game though, a win and they would be promoted to League 1. Kassam Stadium was sold-out and those of us present had an exciting game ahead of us. The atmosphere was of course very good for being a League 2 game. My seat was in row K, close to the home fans. Since I was taking pictures of the Oxford tifo a Wycombe sitting behind me actually asked me if I was a closet Oxford fan. I assured her I was not!
Oxford had a few chances but still 0-0 at half-time. When I met up with Dale (our seats were a few rows apart) at half-time it turned out the seat next to him was free and I watched the second half from that seat. In that second half Oxford was by far the better team and once they had scored, 1-0 in the 50th minute, this game could only have one winner. In the end Oxford won 3-0 and as the final whistle went Oxford fans invaded the pitch and celebrated their club´s promotion. Dale and I stayed behind for a few minutes and as we left most Oxford fans were still celebrating on and off the pitch. After the match Dale drove to Oxford train station, for which I am very grateful, but despite the Kassam Stadium being full we had no problems leaving the ground by car. At 18.40 my train left Oxford and 3 h 30 minutes later I was in Manchester. tomorrow I will go to Boundary Park for Oldham vs Coventry before flying home later in the evening.
Pictures from the Kassam Stadium
Rear of the North Stand
Rear of the South Stand
View from my hotel room
Pano (view from the North Stand)
Pictures from Oxford vs Leicester
View of play
View of play
Pictures from Oxford vs Wycombe
Wycombe fans queuing to get inside
View of play
View of play
Watching for free
"Thank you for the season"