Us 4 Altrincham 0

The forefathers of Rome; Romulus and Remus, found their great city by standing on Palantine and Aventine Hills and waited for a sign from the gods. When more eagles soared over Palantine, it was considered gods’ way of decreeing where the city should be built. On such divinity great empires are built.

As I stepped out of my car and into a puddle prior to yesterday’s demolition of Altrincham I glanced down to see the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle swilling around in the muddy waters at my feet. Is this a sign?

The two new pieces of the puzzle introduced yesterday changed everything. OK, so it was only Altrincham, but they’re there to be beaten and we’ve a few more of their types to weave their way down the Grenoble Road in the coming months.

Murray’s contribution was harder to judge as typically much of the game by-passed the midfield. However, as the game progressed and opened up, Murray was still able to get his passing game going. He took a lot of pressure off Trainer and kept good shape in the middle of the park.

McAllister was the real star of the show. Everything he did was good; what’s more, he offered others’ the opportunity to play. Duffy’s problem has never been his composure on the ball; it’s been getting him on the ball in the first place. McAllister’s work-rate and intelligent touches gave Duffy the space to do what he’s good at. Yemi was relieved of his goalscoring duties and freed to stretch the Alty back four down the flanks. McAllister was the glue that allowed these two to do their stuff.

There have been too many false dawns to think of this as a turning point, but it all felt so much better.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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