The penultimate match of the season here and the last home match for Droylsden who have already been relegated from this division and will spend next season in the Evo Stick Premier with a derby against Ashton United being the main rival fixture in this league and should FC Utd miss out on the play offs then they will be big rivals too.
The visitors today were Oxford City who for some logistical reason play in the North section which isn’t ideal when you have to go places like Boston in Lincolnshire and Workington in Cumbria but on the flip side they do have local derbies against Worcester City,Gloucester and Solihull Moors.
Oxford like Manchester have plenty in common, they have two football teams who end in the names of City and United,both have well known Universities,both have good quality breweries but Oxford always seem to make the final of the boat race every year, I think having good course and distance form helps them a lot!
This was Oxford City’s last away match and in true style many of the away fans were in fancy dress mainly as video game and cartoon characters which was nice to see on what was a fairly sunny afternoon in this area of East Manchester about less than four miles on the very efficient Metrolink trams which passes that Manchester club that play in light blue in a ground I will never set foot in and for me the only two excellent sporting performance in that stadium was when Paula Radcliffe won the 2002 Commonwealth Games 5000m Gold and when Michael Owen scored the winner in a Manchester Derby.
The ground is small but does have the usual facilities such as a clubhouse and tea hut but the main stand is impressive with good seating as I sat next to the press box and media area which only had one person covering it from BBC Radio Oxford, maybe they should let bloggers use them so people attending think that the game is being covered by a good amount of media.
One good thing about where I was sat was the fact I had about five pensioners sat in the row below me and one was using the old method of watching the game while listening to his little radio so was announcing the scores as they went on, Who needs Jeff Stelling!
The match itself was a resounding 3-1 win for Oxford City, to begin with the home side took the lead on 17 minutes when a player on the team sheet called L Gallagher scored with a beautiful strike from about thirty yards out which flowed through the air and the Oxford keeper was unable to stop it to give Droylsden the advantage, turns out this was Luke Gallagher who is on loan from Burnley who held Cardiff 1-1 in the lunch time kick off
The home side played some good football, when ever they went to long ball the possession was lost very easily but then when switching to passing football like Barcelona they moved about a lot better and were finding players very easily so it was annoying whenever they reverted to hoofing it down field.
Oxford came close to a leveller twice when heading wide after a corner and then when their striker Jamie Cook was in on goal only to go over the keeper but the referee gave no penalty.
The equaliser finally arrived on 33 minutes when Cook struck a lovely ball over the Droylsden keeper to bring it to 1-1
This gave the key to the door for Oxford City who continued to press and just four minutes later Steve Basham put the visitors infront after a defensive error from the home side let in Cook who passed across to Basham who had an easy finish to give City the lead.
It was nearly three before half time for Oxford as Chris Wilmott went on a long run down field with the ball and getting into the area passes across to winger Basham who could not get a shot on goal, this prompted a quick counter from Droylsden who were unlucky not to equalise from a long range attempt by left back Lee McEvilly who had his shot saved.
Half time came and went with the traditional comfort break before taking in a tea and pie then the second half commenced.
The second half came and to begin with the most of the early play was in the middle of the park Droylsden had a free kick outside the box after about the 55-60 minutes when a layed off pass brought in a shot which rattled the cross bar much to the surprise of the crowd who were all amazed to see what seemed a well rehearsed training ground move almost come off.
You could see why Droylsden have the second worst defence in this league with many defensive mistakes letting in Oxford who failed to capitalised on plenty of occasions but they managed to bag a third goal on 66 minutes when Felipe Barcelos who according to the match day programme has been catching the attention of Fulham and Reading when getting the better of the home defence to pop in a very easy goal, This young Brazilian has plenty of pace and will no doubt be plying his trade in a much higher league than this,no doubt Oxford City will be hoping for a good fee for him given as it will help them take their club up to the next level.
Oxford could have added a fourth from Barcelos when in a 1 on 1 with the keeper it but his shot went over much to the relief of the home fans,Droylsden had a few more attempts to get back in but it simply not their day today as the ref blew the final whistle.
So the last home game for Droylsden who finish their season next Saturday away at Altrincham so a nice couple of tram rides for the away fans for that one then next season they will begin the assault back in the Evo Stick Premier, as for the Conference North the addition of Stockport County will be interesting to see as they got relegated from the main Conference and they will be favourites to win this division you would think but funny things do happen in football.
Full Time Droylsden 1 Oxford City 3