Prior to yesterday’s shambolic win against Grays, Radio Oxford got ‘miracle man‘ Rob Hughes in front of the mic for a quick interview. Whilst it is hard not to be sympathetic to Hughes’ position and the horrific beating he took, he was never going to make great airtime. Not only could he not remember much about his time with Oxford (you me both, Rob), nor could he remember anything of the original attack. His three minutes was mostly dedicated to telling us that he was training six hours a day with the (clearly deluded) aim of playing next season ‘in the Championship… or Oxford’.
It was a suitably odd start to a suitably odd game. Apparently the Grays team turned up in, like a pub team, in the players’ cars, they had a man sent off, conceded three goals and lost their goalkeeper all in a first half that finished an hour and a quarter after it started. It’s not a surprise that everyone seemed to have had enough in the second half.
The goalkeeper injury was the main talking point. Oxford fans demonstrated typical balance by screaming for the medical staff to get a move on when he first went down despite the fact the Grays Physio was clearly not concerned. Then, of course, once they arrived there was derision that they were taking the time to ensure he had no further injuries. Never happy, these people. Not that there was a lot to do while we waited. Grays went into a huddle (organising the lifts back, I assume), we jogged around keeping warm, the linesmen (my favourite bit) appeared to trot up and down the line as if the game was still on. You would think that there was a by-law you can invoke where both sides agree to finish the half rather than wait. We didn’t even have the pleasure of an announcement that “the referee has indicated there will be a minimum of thirty minutes injury time”. Which would surely have been a world record guaranteeing this freakshow its deserved place in history.
We contributed little in the way of oddness aside from having both centre-backs sustaining simultaneous blood injuries. In truth we contributed very little full stop. So disjointed and ill disciplined were Grays we did little more than turn up and capitalise on their ineptitude.