AWAY GROUND REVIEW: Oxford United
The Ground - The ground itself isn`t bad. It consists of three modern stands. The stand opposite the away end is very smart with corporate luxury boxes and the changing rooms and tunnels. To your left is the former Oxford Mail stand which is home to the most vocal Oxford support. To your right is a large wooden fence similar to one found in your back garden which is in place of a fourth stand. Apparently foundations are in place to build a fourth stand there but due to the club recently being in the lower tiers of the Football League and conference the club has never decided to build a fourth stand. The absence of a fourth stand means the ground is more like a wind tunnel. Chavvy supporters behind the fence stand on a hill to try and watch the match and on our two visits, the locals from Blackbird Leys are there to antagonise the police and opposition support.
Home Fans - Whilst we didn`t have any issues directly with the fans outside the ground this time, on our previous visit, I got hit in the side of the head by the back of a seat, whilst other supporters had to dodge bottles and coins that were tossed into the away end. This time we only had smoke bombs that were thrown into the Swindon Town end. Luckily no one was injured. It`s clear to see why many fans hate Oxford, and not only Town fans. Oxford fans are known to antagonise other supporters. Most recently they have tried to have a go at Swindon, Bristol Rovers, Luton Town and Aldershot Town supporters. Whilst the majority of the Oxford crowd are there for the football a small minority seem hell bent on causing trouble with opposition support.
Parking - Plenty of Parking at the ground or Cinema/bowling alley at the ground. I wouldn`t leave any indication you`re a Swindon fan on your car otherwise it could potentially be vandalised.
Stewarding - Stewards were fine and those inside were mostly from Swindon. The Oxford stewards outside were friendly enough and helped get us into the ground avoiding any trouble.
Food - Can`t really comment as I refuse to give our local rivals more money other than the admission cost. The food looked to be your standard football ground fare.
Away Fans Pub - Swindon Town fans are not allowed to drink anywhere near the ground.
Overall - Based on the fact we have been to the Kassam Stadium three times now and lost all three times without scoring a goal, I said I`d never go back but I`m sure as soon as tickets became available I would go. The ground desperately needs a fourth stand to look complete. Rivalry aside with a fourth stand it would be a tidy ground but at the moment it looks unfinished.
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