Match Preview: Oxford United vs Swindon Town

Town travel to Oxford United for this Football League Trophy 1st Round match.

Form Guide… 

An unbeaten start for both teams has come to an end.

Swindon went 5 unbeaten with victories over Brighton and Stoke City in the League Cup, these sandwiched a draw with Hartlepool and victories over Crawley Town and MK Dons in League One. A 4-1 defeat at Preston was a spectacular way to end the run.

Oxford progressed in the League Cup with a penalties victory over Bournemouth, then beat Rovers, Southend and Plymouth in League Two, before being thumped 3-0 at Elland Road in the League Cup 2nd Round and 3-1 at York City back in League Two. Head-to-Head…

Town have faced Oxford United 55 times, with a record of 23 wins, 20 draws and 12 defeats for Swindon, scoring 81 and conceding 59.

At the Manor Ground and the Kassam, Swindon have 7 victories, 12 draws, 10 defeats from 29 matches; scoring 31 and conceding 38.

In Town’s two previous trip to the Kassam, we were defeated 0-1 in an FA Cup 2nd Round tie in December 2002 and 0-2 in League Two last March.

Swindon have lost their previous 3 matches against Oxford.

Our only meeting with Oxford in the Associate Members Cup / Football League Trophy was a 3-1 win at the Manor Ground on 22nd February 1984. Goals from Jimmy Quinn (2) and Alan Mayes sent Town into the Second Round. History Book…

Though the two clubs now enjoy an intense local rivalry, competitive clashes between Swindon and Oxford only started in 1965, three years after the U’s were elected to the Football League to replace the bankrupt Accrington Stanley.

Many of the opening encounters between the sides were cagey affairs, with just nine goals being scored in the first ten matches, six of which being scored by the Town in two 3-0 victories. Of those ten games, six ended as goalless draws, and Oxford failed to score in all but two of the games – their first goal against the Town coming in the sixth match between the sides.

When Oxford finally registered a victory against Swindon at the eighth time of asking, it was an ignominious exit from the League Cup for the Town – the 1-0 defeat at the Manor Ground ending their defence of the trophy, having won it the previous season. Since then, Swindon have maintained an impressive record over their local rivals.

Few players have been transferred between the two clubs over the years – though one of the most controversial happened in 1995, when Joey Beauchamp returned to the Manor Ground from Swindon for £75,000 – a loss of more than £700,000 on the price they paid just fourteen months previously.

In June 1993, Beauchamp joined West Ham from Oxford for £1m, but after just 58 days at Upton Park, he decided that the commute to East London from his Oxford home was untenable, and Swindon boss John Gorman took his chance to bring him to the County Ground after being thwarted by the Hammers in his previous attempt to sign him. Beauchamp eventually joined for a deal worth £800,000, with Town defender Adrian Whitbread included in the deal – but he failed to impress at Swindon, and made just sixty appearances before being sold back to Oxford in a cut-price deal by Steve McMahon, who very obviously didn’t appreciate his style of play.

Beauchamp was to score past the Town in the next meeting between the sides – a 3-0 win for Oxford over the Town – and the season ended with Swindon champions of the Second Division and the U’s in second place.

My prediction… 

A Swindon win on penalties after a 3-3 draw, more goalkeeper substitutions and Paolo falling out with another player…


Some old, but relevant articles from our archive about the A420 derby…

Swindon versus Oxford: The Birth of a rivalry

Swindon v Oxford: Rivalries, we’ve had a few. But then again, just one to mention

STFC Hall of Shame #8: Joey Beauchamp

Image under Creative Commons licence

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