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OXFORD CITY FC - HISTORY & STATISTICS

© Chris Byrne 2010

1961-1962

With the expansion of the leagues and more matches to be played in the season the pressure was on teams at this time to install floodlights and both City, and local rivals Wycombe Wanderers, were now on course towards having lights in place as soon as possible. There was more movement of players now between clubs and at the start of this season there had been in the past, and the Oxford Times commented on a “worrying exodus” of senior players as Crossingham and Goodison joined Buswell and Howlett at Chesham. In addition Tony Bradbury joined Oxford United as an amateur, so it was a somewhat ‘experimental’ side that lost 1-2 to Dulwich Hamlet in the first game of the season.
The £4000 floodlights were switched on for a match against Banbury Spencer on October 9th and a week later Luton Town, whom Graham Caleb had just joined as an amateur, brought a strong side for a floodlit friendly and won 4-1. And City’s first ever league match at the White House under lights was played on October 23rd against Wycombe when they fought back from a gaol down to edge a 3-2 victory over their old rivals.
The cup season got underway in early September with an exciting 5-2 FA Cup defeat of Aylesbury where four goals went in in the space of two minutes! This was followed by a comfortable 3-0 win at Wokingham, but the dreams collapsed a fortnight later when the professionals of Banbury eased past City 3-1. Exemption from the early rounds of the Amateur Cup saw the team wait until December for a match in this competition, but, not for the first time, Maidenhead got the better of City by the odd goal in five.
The 1st XI had a mixed season up to the turn of the year with successive wins (4-0 and 3-2) against Leytonstone and Wycombe raising expectations only for a 4-0 loss at Ilford and, a little while later, a 0-6 home battering from Wimbledon, the worst defeat for nearly seven years, to sap morale again. For various reasons it seemed difficult to find a settled team and by January only Dennis Syrett in goal and John Woodley at the front were ‘ever-presents’.

1961-2

The second half of the season saw a settling of the team, the addition of some new players (including John Lamb from Malmesbury and Peter Slade from Didcot), a gradual improvement in results and a sixth place finish after a convincing 5-0 victory in the season’s last match against St Albans. They were also helped by the use of University and Pegasus players in the last two months of the season, including Oxford Blue, and future England cricketer, Alan (A.C.) Smith in the Walthamstow match – although he was, reportedly, “...much too slow for this class of football”. There was considerable interest locally when it looked as though Roger Jackson, the University captain and England amateur international might play a few matches at the end of the season, but the plans fell through.
The Reserves had a similarly unimpressive first four months and were one from the bottom of the table in December, but fought back to twelfth by the end of the season, signing off with a good 3-0 home win over Barking.
In the local cup competitions they fought through to the Final of the Senior Cup with a 3-1 defeat of Pegasus (after a 2-2 draw) followed by a more comfortable 4-0 win over Morris Motors. They met Witney Town in the final and narrowly captured the cup 2-1after extra time with Trevor Jones scoring a late decider. Oxford United delighted their supporters with a 3-0 defeat of City in the Benevolent Cup Final at The Manor. The Smith Memorial Cup was abandoned until the next season after a “blizzard” stopped the match against Wycombe, played at the end of March, with the score at 1 1.
Vic Mobley and Ian Rundle both had trials with Sheffield Wednesday. Mobley went on to captain the England U23 team whilst at Wednesday: he was picked for one full international (against Holland in December 1964), but injury made him withdraw and he was never chosen again. Ian Rundle, on the other hand, missed much of the season seriously ill with meningitis.

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