Sunday, 21 February 2010

Game 43 - Cambridge City v Oxford City Saturday 20th February 2010 Zamaretto Premier League

This was a hastily arranged visit to Milton Road as this ground was on my hit list to do, but I was looking at going next season. However the news was announced that this would be Cambridge City's last season here ahead of a groundshare with Newmarket Town next season. As City are at Plymouth today it gave me an opportunity to arrange a trip. A 136 mile trip lay ahead and we set off in sunshine, heading first to the Friendly Farmer Restaurant at Newark for sausage buns, very nice. One hold up on the A1 due to an accident, did not not stop us arriving safely in Cambridge, easily locating Milton Road but where is the ground? The very nice lady on the satnav tells us we have arrived, yeah right. Fortunately Mrs Reynard had spotted the floodlights from the other road coming into the City so we knew we were close and so turned down the first road on the left but no ground! We double back and go down the only other alternative which turns out to be the right road.

We go in and find ourselves in the left corner of the ground. To our right is the main stand, but we head behind the goal first, where there is a narrow strip of hard standing running the length of the end.
We carry on to the far side of the ground where there are four different covered standing areas including the 'Shed', where the more vocal Cambridge supporters were to gather. These quirky stands really make the ground different from others and it is a pity they will soon disappear.

We carry on to the other end where there is hard standing behind the length of the goal and a tea hut, brilliantly called "Start the Diet Tomorrow", selling some excellent food. Further on in the corner is the Club Shop.

Now we are heading back to the impressive Cambridge Building Society Family Stand. This contains the dressing rooms, social club and toilets. Again, not just one stand but two separate seating areas.

After getting a coffee we make our way into the stand and sit in the sunshine waiting for the game to start. As with a lots of Clubs, Cambridge have a mascot. A Panda. We try and work out why but we conclude that we have no idea why they use a panda!
The game begins and the pattern of the match is soon set, which basically is, Cambridge attack and Jonathan North (on loan from Watford) in the Oxford goal keeps them out. On one of the few occasions he was beaten his defenders cleared the ball off the line twice in the same incident. Somehow we got to half time with the score still at 0-0 and Oxford had be grateful to their young keeper for it being goalless. I took the opportunity to go back to the far side to take photos of theses flags:

I get back to my seat in time for the kick off and the first half is replayed again. This half though, the Cambridge strike force add poor finishing to the mix, repeatedly getting shots in but with no power or accuracy. On the few occasions they do hit the target, well it's that man North again. I'm beginning to think I'm in for another 0-0, when on 87 minutes full back James Krause (my man of the match for Cambridge) showed his forwards how it is done. He took a throw in on the left hand side and following a neat move involving four Cambridge players ran on to a good pass from Burke and absolutely hammered it past North. This totally deflated the Oxford side who had looked like going home with a point. 3 minutes later it was 2-0 when Calliste scored after good work on the right from Barker, he found himself one on one with the keeper and coolly slotted it past North. The final whistle went not long after and the three points were Cambridge's. I do not normally give man of the match awards but I have to make an exception today and give it to the young keeper Jon North, a great performance and it was hard to see him on the losing side.
If you have not been to this ground yet, do make the effort. It is well worth visiting and you do not have long left.

More pictures of Milton Road here.

Cambridge City 2-0 Oxford City
Att: 317
Admission: £10
Programme: £2

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