Coming up: Millwall

The drop

I thought that the closer we’d get to Wembley in the JPT, the more important I’d find the games. In fact, I feel increasingly conflicted and confused. We are two games from Wembley and a chance of some silverware. That’s significant because although we got silverware for our 2010 play-off final win against York, I’m not really a fan of the idea that you get a cup for coming second. This could be the first title we lift for 30 years.

On the other hand, it’s still the JPT, it’s more clutter to our fixture calendar and it’s a pointless risk to our perfect Wembley record. I just can’t quite calibrate it all. I want us to win, I don’t want us to lose. I think ultimately, if we’re going to win this and gain promotion, then I want it to continue. If not, then I don’t.

This season is a bit like the Star Wars film; a modern reboot of an old classic. In 1985/86 – the year we won the Milk Cup and played in the top flight – we had another chance of a Wembley final when we made the semi-final of the Simod Cup. Technically the Full Members’ Cup, it was an attempt to fill the fixture calendar after English clubs had been banned from Europe after Heysel. It was as unloved as it sounds, like the JPT, we managed to make the semi-final to play Chelsea – a widely disliked London club – like Millwall. We lost and they went on to win 5-4 in front of 70,000 people at Wembley. I have a vague recollection of feeling the disappointment of missing out on that day (even though I hadn’t given a monkeys about the tournament). Perhaps I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Old game of the day

This is from1995/96 in the FA Cup. It’s an absolute barnstormer which ended 3-3 with a goal direct from a Bobby Ford corner in the last minute. On the way home, I saw a Millwall fan, so incandescent  with rage, insist that his wife walk in the gutter rather than on the pavement.  Also features a ludicrous Paul Moody back heel for the first goal. 

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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