Away-Day Guide: Oxford

Oxford United's Kassam Stadium   Picture: Barry Zee
Oxford United's Kassam Stadium Picture: Barry Zee
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OXFORD v POMPEY, League Two, this afternoon (3pm)

STADIUM: Kassam Stadium – capacity, 12,500 all seated – Grenoble Road, Oxford, OX4 4XP.

DIRECTIONS: From the A34, follow the brown football signs to the Kassam Stadium.

The stadium can be found in between the Oxford Science and Blackbird Leys Estate.

From the A423 ring road take the A4074 towards Reading.

After the roundabout with Sainsburys on one corner, take the left turning signposted Cowley/Wallington/Oxford Science Park and you will eventually come to the ground on your left.

PARKING: There are unreserved parking spaces at the stadium for around 2,000 cars.

Parking is free and on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

For big games, the car park does get full quite a while before kick-off.

There is an overflow car park at the back of the nearby Vue Cinema. There is also some on-street parking between the Wallington Road roundabout and the stadium.

But, be warned, latecomers who risk parking in residents-only parking schemes or on yellow lines, which includes the grass verges, may get parking tickets.

nearest train station: The journey from Fratton to Oxford takes just over two hours and trains run every half-hour, with a change at Winchester.

Oxford railway station is about four miles from the Kassam Stadium.

The Oxford Bus Company service number five runs regularly from the station bus stop R2 to the Knights Road stop in Blackbird Leys, which is a short walk from the ground.

There is a taxi rank at the station and taxis generally take about 15 minutes but allow plenty of time to get there with the football traffic.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK: From previous visits, most fans have now discovered there is a very limited choice of bars near to the stadium.

There is the Holiday Inn Express Hotel on the corner behind the Oxford Mail and South Stand but on previous visits, supporters have been turned away.

Or there is a cinema and bowling alley complex located adjacent to the stadium, called Ozone, with a bar, food and Sky TV.

Other visiting fans have recommended a small local pub called the George Inn, 5 Sandford Rd, OX4 4PU, situated in Littlemore just off the ring road (not far from Sainsbury’s).

This is two miles by road but only one mile by foot from the stadium.

Again, this pub does not always admit away fans.

As you would expect, there are plenty of watering holes in the city centre.

The nearest Wetherspoons to the station is The Four Candles, 40 George Street, OX1 2BE (named after the Two Ronnies sketch). 

Another pub that has been previously recommended is The Prince of Wales, 73 Church Way, Iffley, OX4 4EF.

With real ale, good food and a football-loving landlord, this is ideal – apart from its distance to the Kassam; although between the town centre and the ground, it is still four miles by road and over two by foot.

But the easiest answer for a drink may be to get into the stadium early.

Hot drinks and snacks are also available both inside and outside the ground.

PREVIOUS VISITS: This will be Pompey’s 27th league and cup visit to Oxford, the first coming in 1969.

They have played there in all four divisions.

But most of those visits were to the Manor Ground, the club’s old stadium.

In comparison, Pompey have made just four visits to the newer Kassam Stadium and one of those was a goalless pre-season friendly under Harry Redknapp.

In the most recent league visit, last August, an 80th-minute Craig Westcarr goal was the decider to give Andy Awford’s side what would turn out to be a rare away win.

The previous season saw a drab 0-0 draw.