Who Are These Jobbers?
Come on, be honest, you forgot this game was on, didn’t you?
However, aren’t we all in agreement that nothing gets the pulse racing more than League Cup tie against a team in the same division? Amirite? No-one? Anyone? Literally absolutely anyone? No? You’re telling me you don’t want to travel across the country on a Tuesday night to an unfinished ground in the middle of nowhere? No?
And, oh wait, oh for god’s sake, Oxford are managed by Karl Robinson, aren’t they? Urgh, that guy. Someone that both has the look and charisma of James Cordon without actually being James Cordon, yet still being absolutely insufferable.
Well, at least, Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven (do we like them anymore? Who cares) can reunite with some old friends and have a pint of Coors or something like that. Anyway, hope we win, so there could be another game of football.
What’s The Ground Like?
Who says you have to “finish” a stadium once you start building it? Look at Valencia, they’ve been building a stadium for the past 12 years and it’s still nowhere near finished. So, in hindsight Oxford were actually some kind of trendsetters of not finishing something they started.
There couldn’t be a better representation of life in League One than gazing out over where a football stand should be and see nothing but a car park and the flashing neon lights of a bowling alley. The Kassam Stadium is also not near anywhere of even the slightest note, so you get to spend a freezing October evening wondering how you’ll ever make that train back.
Sunderland fans will be housed in a section of the North Stand where you can get a tremendous view of the bowling alley.
How Do I Get There?
It’s just the four-and-a-half hours to Oxford which is what we all need on a Tuesday night. If you’re driving take the A1(M) and M1 down to junction 15A before joining the A43 to junction 9. Exit for the A34 and follow it round Oxford via the Southern By Pass Road, Eastern By Pass Road and A4074 before taking a left onto Grenoble Road and the Kassam Stadium is on your left.
There is free parking available at the ground as well as the adjacent bowling alley, alternatively there’s street parking on Grenoble Road. If you get lost plop OX4 4XP into your sat nav.
If you’re getting train, you’re in for a bloody treat. The Kassam Stadium is a handy four miles away from Oxford train station and you better believe that any form of transport from the city to the ground is going to be a nightmare. You can take either the number 1, 5, 12 or 16 bus from Oxford to the stadium but allow plenty of time to get there.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
Do you like drinking in bowling alleys? You do? Well, isn’t that a handy coincidence because the only bar within proximity of the stadium is the wonderfully named Ozone where you can soak up just every depressing vibe that comes with consuming alcohol in a place designed for children’s parties.
If you have a bit more time on your hands, then you can take a walk to the George Inn on Sandford Road which very much isn’t a bowling alley. The Catherine Wheel on Henley Road in nearby Sandford-on-Thames is also a viable option is you really, really don’t want to drink in a bowling alley.
For those able to take full advantage of the Oxford hospitality, you can head into the city centre and find a cavalcade of fine hostelries. The Bear Inn on Alfred Street can trace its history back to the 13th century, as can the Turf Tavern on Bath Place. Get the feeling of stepping onto University Challenge at the King’s Arms on Holywell Street or treat yourself to a lovely pizza at the White Rabbit on Friars Entry.
What? Oh if you must, The Swan & Castle on Castle Street is one of three Wetherspoons in the city.
Is There Anything Around Here Worth Doing?
Since you’re in Oxford, you could spend the proceeding day looking around the university and wondering what your life could’ve been like if you’d work a little harder. It’s got a massive cathedral as well, so you could have a look around that if you like. It’s pretty nice down there.