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Oxford, Plymouth & Pompey

12 June 2013

With the 2013/14 League 2 fixtures due to be released on Wednesday 19th June, takes a look at who the Wanderers will be up against next season.

th Last season: 9
Distance from Adams Park: 30 miles
Postcode: OX4 4XP
Rating from last season’s Following the Blues feature: 9/10
Ground:  Kassam Stadium (12,500)
Manager: Chris Wilder
Oxford United

United finished the season in good form, winning their final three games to help them to a ninth-placed finish.

Prior to that run though, Oxford went five games without tasting victory, ultimately a run that ended any play-off ambitions.

How the Wanderers fared: A mixed bag for the Blues as Oxford were 3-1 winners at Adams Park, before Joel Grant’s solo effort earned the Chairboys a well-deserved 1-0 success at the Kassam Stadium in April.

Plymouth Argyle 

st Last season: 21
Distance from Adams Park: 222 miles
Postcode: PL2 3DQ 
Rating from last season’s Following the Blues feature: 8/10
Ground:  Home Park (16,388)
Manager: John Sheridan

Argyle finished just a point and a place above the relegation zone, but things could have been a lot worse if not for a run of five wins from seven games towards the end of the season.

Much of the turnaround can be credited to loanee Jason Banton who scored six times in 14 appearances for Plymouth after joining from Crystal Palace. Those goals ensured that the 20-year-old finished as the club’s top scorer.

How the Wanderers fared: Matt McClure gave the Blues the lead in the fixture at Adams Park, but Guy Madjo levelled after the break to earn the Pilgrims a 1-1 draw.

McClure struck again in the reverse fixture and this time the Chairboys saw out the game to earn the three points. 

Manager: Guy Whttingham 
Ground:  Fratton Park (20,224) 
Rating from last season’s Following the Blues feature: 8/10  Postcode:
Distance from Adams Park: 84 miles  Last season: 24th(League 1)

A 10-point deduction made a difficult season even tougher and a 23-game winless streak from October to February all but confirmed Pompey’s relegation. Guy Whittingham’s side were always up against it due to their financial problems and the squad was made up of players on month-to-month contracts and youth-team players.

Portsmouth did recover to win five of their remaining 11 games, but that mini-recovery couldn’t prevent them finishing bottom of League 1.

The club were bought by The Portsmouth Supporters Trust in April and are already closing in on 6,000 season ticket holders for the new campaign.

How the Wanderers fared: Chairboys produced one of their performances of the season to stun Portsmouth in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Grant opened the scoring after only 13 seconds of the tie at Fratton Park, before Dean Morgan added a brace to secure the Blues a 3-1 victory.

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