Oxblogger was born in Burton-on-Trent, which gave today's fixture a lot of meaning. Unfortunately the fixture was switched to last night, one of many non-Saturday games this season, which made it no less meaningful, but impossible for Oxblogger to attend, which was annoying.
I've always had a link with Oxford, my Granda (using the Scottish vernacular) moved down from Scotland to work at the Harwell research laboratories, taking up residence in Abingdon. Dad became a fan and used to see the Us when they were Headington United. Oxblogger's first game was as a three year old seeing Southampton beat the Us 2-1 at the Manor. Apparently the young Oxblogger spent most of the game cheering at the floodlights, something that has been repeated many times in recent years.
Oxford were always a second team, having moved from Burton to Welwyn Garden City, Christmases at the Grandparents always took in a game at the Manor but Dad's liberal inclination to give his son a choice backfired when the young Oxblogger chose a blue shirt over the old gold of Wolves when picking his first football kit. This made him an Ipswich Town fan with a soft spot for the local team; Arsenal.
In the early eighties, the family moved to Thame, and dad (plus son) re-aquianted himself with the mighty Yellows. Unbeknown to us, the club was entering a golden era, which undoubtedly helped established the bond with the club. A short hiatus during my University years meant visits to the Manor were infrequent, cost and distance being key factors, but once in the working world a season ticket was purchased and 12 years later, I'm still here.
And so, Burton (who Oxblogger saw in the 1987 FA Trophy Final) represented a significant fixture in the calendar. More so now that, in a breakneck first week, we've continued our perfect start to the season with a 2-1 win. The opening week was tricky; two away fixtures and last year's beaten play-off finalists. We can kick on with nothing to fear...