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In opposition: York City v Oxford United

29 August 2012

In the first of a new series on we preview one of this week's big matches with the help of a supporter from each club.

This Saturday, York City face Oxford United in npower League 2 in the first league meeting between the two teams since the 2010 Blue Square Premier Play-Off Final.


Name: Graham Bradbury.

Club: York City.

Number of years as a supporter: 52, first game was against Crewe Alexandra on 10th September 1960 - City won 3-1.

Favourite moment as a fan: Over the years, there have been so many proud moments.

Beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup in 1995 rates highly. Seeing the 1983/84 Division Four Champions being the first ever team in Football League history to gain over 100 points in a season. The 1973/74 promotion-winning side under Tom Johnston that lifted us to the highest ever level of football we would play, for two seasons in Division Two, and the first York City team to ever play at Wembley in the 1993 Division Three Play-Off Final versus Crewe Alexandra, being successful after a penalty shoot-out.

The eight days last May when we again made history by appearing at the new Wembley Stadium twice in consecutive weekends, lifting the FA Trophy and then winning the Blue Square Play-Off Final must rank as the proudest and most emotional experience for any York City supporter.

How many games a season do you attend? I have only missed fives games - all away from home - in the last eight years in the Blue Square Premier. There are four or five of us who travel to every game home and away who share the car and the driving duties.

Where do you sit? We all stand together in the David Longhurst Stand behind the goal.

Name: Simon Munday.

Club: Oxford United.

Number of years as a supporter: Season ticket holder for 32 years.

Favourite moment as a fan: An impossible question - supporting Oxford for over 30 years has produced the ultimate football rollercoaster ride.

I was very fortunate to be in my early 20s in the 1980s, which gave me the cash and freedom to follow my team all over the country in our most successful years.

Winning the Division Three title in 1984 followed by Division Two in '85 was unbelievable. I never dreamed that my team could reach the top and play the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool on a weekly basis. To cap this fantastic run in the league we went to Wembley and won the Milk Cup in 1986.

My favourite game of the time was at the old Manor Ground in 1986, against Everton. We had three games to secure our safety, Everton were second behind Liverpool. The game finished 1-0 after an 88th minute winner. 'Staying up, won the cup' was the chant that night.

How many games a season do you attend? Sadly, not as many games as in my youth - when I attended every match home and away for a number of years - due to work and family commitments. The usual poor excuses.

Where do you sit? At the Kassam Stadium I sit in the East Stand behind the goal.



What happened in your last match?

GB: Last weekend we travelled to Barnet and saw the lads win 3-1 - our first victory back in The Football League.

SM: The last game I saw was a 2-0 home win over Southend United in the League, a very important win for the Yellows as Southend are a bit of a jinx side. They beat us three times last season.

Why is this game important?

GB: After losing our first game at home against Wycombe Wanderers, it's important we start to pick up points at home. I would like to think we can start to make Bootham Crescent a difficult place for teams to come and pick up points.

SM: With our impressive start of three wins out of three and sitting top of League 2, this game is very important in terms of keeping momentum going and building belief in the squad. Every game is important, isn't it?

How do you see this game going?

GB: City are now playing with more confidence and acclimatising themselves to the new pace of The Football League - I think we'll squeeze a 2-1 victory.

SM: I think it will be a tight game. York are at home and will be looking to make the most of the advantage. They are still probably on a high after achieving promotion last season so a draw will not be a bad result, but with Oxford's great start I think they have the momentum to win the game by the odd goal.

Who should we keep our eye on?

GB: Danny Parslow has made an outstanding start to the season - playing in a midfield role and scoring the first goal last week at Barnet - he seems to be enjoying his football and the fans seem to enjoy him, too, in this unfamiliar position.

SM: Our new signings are settling in well and with the return of Alfie Potter and Tom Craddock, who both had lengthy spells out injured last season, the team is looking a lot stronger this time around.

Any memories of previous encounters?

GB: I remember a Friday night match at Bootham Crescent in 1966. We had just sold our talisman centre-forward Paul Aimson to Bury and lost 4-1. Both Ron Atkinson and his brother Graham played for Oxford that night but although they were cruising to victory, Graham Atkinson kicked a ball, with much force, into the enclosure and hit an unsuspecting youth full in the face near to where I was standing.

The crowd turned on Atkinson with a lot of abuse. The youngster had to be taken to hospital for further treatment. The crowd remonstrated outside the ground after the final whistle wanting Atkinson's blood, but they never saw him; he was smuggled out of the ground by another exit. I don't think either of the Atkinson's ever played at Bootham Crescent again and City were relegated at the end of that season.

SM: The last match between the two teams was one of the greatest days in Oxford's history, a day I have since described as my perfect day out; drinks with mates at Wembley and a great atmosphere with the York fans who are always a credit to their club.

The match was great from our point of view, early goals to settle the nerves, a howling mistake to let York back in, followed by a late third goal to send the fans wild again. The sort of match the younger generation of Oxford fans who missed the success of the 80s deserved after years of heartache.

Score prediction?

GB: 2-1 to York.

SM: 1-0 to Oxford with Tom Craddock getting the winner.

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