Oxford City

Marsh Lane

Capacity: 2,000 (Seats 529)
Address: Marsh Lane, Marston, Oxford, OX3 0NQ
Telephone: 0793 742 3781
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: City or The Hoops
Year Ground Opened: 1993
Home Kit: Blue And White Hoops

Main Stand
Main Stand
North Stand
North Stand
Marsh Lane End
Marsh Lane End
East Terrace
East Terrace
Looking Towards The Marsh Lane End
Looking Towards The Marsh Lane End
Gates From The Old White House Ground
Gates From The Old White House Ground

Opened in 1993 the Marsh Lane Football Ground is quite an open one. On one side is the Main Stand. This covered all seated stand runs for just over half the length of the pitch. It contains four rows of seating and has windshields to either side. The main disappointment is there a large number of supporting pillars running across the front of it. Opposite is a small covered terrace that is around the same size of the Main Stand in length, straddling the half way line. Unusually for a terrace it has windshields to either side, although it does have some supporting pillars. It has the team dug outs located in front of it, where as normally you would expect them to be located in front of the Main Stand. There is a new seated stand erected in 2016/17 positioned towards the North West end of the ground on this side. It has four rows of seats, with 158 in total. The Marsh Lane End itself is dominated by the club house and Club offices which sits directly behind. Although its green colour may have been intended to help it blend in with the environment, it seems to me to do quite the contrary. It does though feature the entrance gates to the Club's former nostalgic White House ground. There is a flat standing area for spectators in front of it. At the other end is a small covered terrace, that runs for around half the length of the pitch and is situated directly behind the goal. Again there are a number of supporting pillars running across the front. The stadium is completed by a set of four modern floodlight pylons.

The Club are expected at some stage to install an artificial surface at the Marsh Lane ground, possibly in time for the start of the 2016/17 season.

Normally a relaxed and friendly day out. As far as I understand supporters have never been segregated at Marsh Lane which stands as a testament to the Club. Food on offer inside the ground includes; Bacon Cheeseburgers (£3.20), Bacon Burgers (£3), Cheeseburgers (£2.70), Bacon & Egg Rolls (£2.70), Beefburgers (£2.40), Bacon Rolls (£2.20), Sausage Rolls (£1.50), Cheese and Onion Pasties (£1.50) and Egg Rolls (£1.50).

There is a large club house inside the stadium. Otherwise there didn't seem to be any other pubs within the vicinity of the ground.

From the North:
Leave the M40 at Junction 9 and take the A34 towards Oxford. Follow the A34 for seven miles until you reach the A44/A40 turn off. Leave the A34 and at the roundabout take the ring road towards London (A40)/Oxford. At the next roundabout take the second exit continuing along the ring road, which is now the A40 in the direction of London. Proceed along the A40 for two miles and then and then leave and take the slip road signposted Marston and Hospital. Follow the slip road aroung and over the A40 and this brings you onto Marsh Lane. The entrance to the stadium is just down on the left. 

From the South:
Leave the M40 at Junction 8 and take the A40 towards Oxford. Follow the A40 for seven miles and then leave and take the slip road signposted Marston and Hospital. At the top of the slip raod turn left towards City Centre and Marston. You are now on Marsh Lane, the entrance to the stadium is just down on the left.

Car parking:
There is a fair sized car park at the ground which is free.

Oxford Railway Station is over three miles away from the stadium, so it is really too far to walk. So best to jump in a taxi up to the ground. Nigel Long adds; 'Alternatively, you can catch the number 14A bus (which is hourly, daytime only) direct from the station to the ground (Stop: Marston, adjacent Horseman Close). Alternatively, there is a more frequent bus service number 14 daytime and evening services from the station or the city centre to Cherwell Drive, which is a 10 minute walk from the ground. (Stop: Marston, adjacent Ewin Close). See the Stagecoach website for timetable information. You can also buy a 'PlusBus' ticket which allows an adult unlimited bus travel in Oxford for one day. This costs £4 per adult or £2 per child. Brian Scott informs me; 'Both the 14 and 14A services are hourly and provide a bus to the John Radcliffe Hospital every 30 minutes. There is also a number 13 which takes a different route, but serves the same bus stop as the number 14 (Marston, adjacent Ewin Close.) The number 13 runs every 20 minutes. Note the X13 does NOT take you back to the station after the game. Also, if you are catching the 14A after the game double check you are standing on the correct side of the road as it heads north before turning off. Service 13 is provided by the Oxford City Bus Company

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Adults £12
OAP's/Disabled £6
Students £3*
Members of the Armed Forces: Free*
Under 16's: Free (proof of age may be required)

* On production of valid ID

Oxford United and Banbury United.

Official Matchday Programme £2.

Oxford City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Record Attendance

At the White House Ground 9,500 v Leytonstone FA Amateur Cup 1950
At Marsh Lane To be advised

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 295 (National League South)
2014-2015: 321 (Conference South)

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going.

Access their Oxford Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Oxford City v Hampton & Richmond Borough
National League South
Saturday 8th April 2017, 3pm
Brian Scott (Groundhopper)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Marsh Lane ground?

As I normally travel by train this was one of the harder grounds to get to due to the longish bus ride. So I planned it on a day when the return journey would be in daylight. I also wanted to see more of Oxford City centre.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

My train journey was very good indeed, going from Stowmarket to London via Cambridge and Kings Cross due to the never ending weekend engineering works on the Great Eastern main line at Shenfield. I then chose to travel to Oxford from London Marylebone. It takes a few minutes longer this way, but the countryside is beautiful. The long train had masses of empty seats in the front carriages.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As I had plenty of time to spare, I walked into the City centre to admire the architecture of the fine old buildings. There are also modern buildings and a huge new shopping arcade is being built in the area to the east of the castle. I finished my walk in University Parks which was convenient to catch the 14A bus in Banbury Road. Before entering the ground I checked out the siting of where I could catch the number 14 bus to get back to the railway station.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Marsh Lane Stadium?

The first thing that you see is the new looking office and changing room facilities and other sports areas which look impressive. However the stands are nothing to get excited about. There is a very new new stand at the North West end on one side with 158 bright blue seats. I chose not to sit there as it was boiling hot with the sun beating down! Doesn't sound much like football weather does it? I sat at the back of the Main Stand on the other side finding a seat where the many pillars didn't block either goal. There was no public address announcements at all, and some of the rubbish bins were full and overflowing. Obviously not being emptied for several weeks.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

This was a very one sided game with Hampton & Richmond taking the lead in the eight minute with a well worked free kick. About five minutes later it was 0-2, followed by a third and fourth goal before half time. The second half was not quite as one sided with Hampton & Richmond managing to score a fifth. The attendance was only 294 but unsurprisingly it was the away fans who made what little noise that there was. The stewards were very inconspicuous as I only saw a total of three. I managed to chat to one local who was very friendly, but there was none around me in the seats to chat to! In his review Myles Munsey mentions that before his visit in 2015 there had been some postponements due to a waterlogged pitch. Well on my visit the dust was flying every time a player kicked the ball! The pitch needed watering, and no 3g pitch as of yet.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I left a little before the end as I wanted to get the number 14 bus at 16.53, but I actually caught a number 13 which I found out takes a different route to the railway station. They go every 20 minutes. It was a slightly longer route than the number 14 with lots of pick-ups, but the variety of route was good to see more of Oxford. I left Oxford on an High Speed Train to London Paddington, so having another variety of route back to London.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Another good day out in the lower leagues.

Oxford City v Ebbsfleet United
National League South
Daturday 3rd December 2016, 3pm
Anthony Hanley (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Marsh Lane Ground?

Oxford is the perfect destination for combining a match, a new venue and a bit of sightseeing. In this instance I dropped into the Pitt Rivers Museum (highly recommended - and free) which was fortuitously sited along the walking route I took.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

As I usually do, I walked to the stadium from the rail station. Like many clubs Oxford City do not provide walking directions to their home on the website. Why is this? Given virtually all football clubs are desperate for every penny they can get it wouldn't take much for someone to rectify this. Instead I pulled a route down from Google Maps involving a section of the Marston Cycle Route which enhanced the journey no end. I passed meadows, horses in a field and crossed over a river. Despite being about 2.5 to 2.75 miles I found the route easy to follow.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Plenty of interesting boozers in the town centre but I didn't see a single one in New Marston where Oxford City's ground is located. As for chippies and takeaways - are you mad?. This is Oxford. Pomme frites and sliced pheasant is the order of the day. Not withstanding I did see a Papa John's pizza close to Marsh Lane but that was it. So it might be wise to drink and eat in the city centre before heading to the ground. As per usual with fixtures at this level fans mixed freely without a hint of animosity.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Marsh Lane Ground?

'A tidy ground' would be the slightly condescending phrase I'd use for Marsh Lane. The Main Stand is only four rows deep but ample for this level. There is also another seated stand curiously placed in the opposite corner. Facing the Main Stand and behind one of the goals are sections of covered terracing whilst the remaining end is an open area where the club house is situated. Behind a screen of trees is the busy A40 Northern By-Pass but the noise it generates fades into the background soon enough. Money has plainly been spent to upgrade the roofing, floodlights, concrete terracing and turnstiles.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The match was a bit 'kick and rush' to be frank but contained two absolutely fantastic goals. Oxford took the lead in the 8th minute when No. 9 James Roberts' superb long, looping shot from the edge of the penalty area crashed into the net. Ebbsfleet equalised just before half-time when Charlie Sheringham (Teddy's son) swivelled and shot from close in. The visitors upped their game second half and took the lead on 73 minutes before sealing the contest three minutes later when returning former goal-scoring hero Bradley Bubb brilliantly volleyed in direct from a corner. The friendly and cosy club house provided the usual football ground diet of hot and cold drinks, pies and snacks. I saw three lads take their pints back with them onto the terracing without any fuss. I was a little disappointed there were no giant TV screens giving half-time scores though! The steward and turnstile lady were both friendly and welcoming on arrival.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I returned along the same walking route I'd taken to the venue however a significant portion of the cycle route had no lighting and given it was now pitch black proved a little dodgy with bikes still going back and forth. It might be wise to bring a small torch or use the light from your phone to guide you back or even better one of those flaming torches the villagers use in Hammer films when going en masse to Dr. Frankenstein's gaff to find out what the hell's been going on up there! Conversely the remaining part of the cycle path was illuminated by charming 'Olde Worlde' lamp posts. It took 47 minutes to get back to Oxford rail station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Interesting and pleasant city. Nice walk to the ground. A decent game. Friendly atmosphere. Good day out.

Oxford City Stadium (Marsh Lane)
Oxford City vs Weston-Super-Mare
National Conference League South
Myles Munsey (Ground hopper)

Reasons for visit:
What do you do when you are at a loose end on a Bank holiday Saturday? Go to football of course. But there were other reasons for my visit. The weather was set fair and a visit to a nearby club that has been on my ‘to do’ list for quite some time appealed. Besides Oxford is pretty close and I could get back to my evening dinner appointment in good time.

This was a new venue but not a new club as I have seen Oxford City play at the Whitehouse Ground way back in 1970 (!) in the F.A.Cup against Bournemouth.

I also saw City the following season at United’s Manor Ground in a cup replay against Alvechurch – a tie that went to six (yes six!) games – a record. In the modern era of ‘instant’ results such things are uminamaginaeable nowadays.

Since gaining promotion to level 6 of the pyramid they have been performing pretty well of late so I wanted to see how they would get on.

Getting there:
It’s easy enough getting to Oxford by train, but the ground is a fair slog from the station. I say slog but actually I found a very pleasant walking route from central Oxford which I’m happy to replicate below. 

From the Tourist Information Centre in Broad Street turn left into Parks Road then right into South Parks Road. At the point at which the road bends right, you will find a nicely rolled gravel path that leads down through the University Parks and across the river Cherwell. Follow the path all the way along as it turns left and right (passing over two cattle grids – mind the cow) until it comes out in Croft Road in New Marston. Head straight down Croft Road until it meets South Marston Road. Turn left and carry on to the roundabout. Turn left again and at the next roundabout turn right into Marsh Lane. The ground is 10 minutes further along on your right.

First impressions:
The ground is another one in a residential area or at least on the edge of one. Being a modern stadium it is functional but spacious. The ground is bordered on two sides by trees and on the other two by sports pitches and is overlooked by the large hospitals in nearby Headington. The trees not only give welcome greenery but also do a fine job of drowning out the constant drone of traffic from the adjacent M40.

The staff were welcoming and friendly. 

Before the game:
I got to the ground at 13.45 so with plenty of time on my hands I engaged in pleasant conversation with the club officials reminiscing about OCFC’s long and interesting history and a discussion on the absurdity of scheduling games on the same Saturday as United are at home at the Kassam Stadium. They are apparently planning to have a 3G pitch in place for next season owing to several postponements of late. Well I suppose it’s called Marsh Lane for a reason!

The long walk on a warm afternoon left me thirsty so coffee was obtained from the catering hut. A selection of prices:

Sausage roll £1.50
Bacon roll £2.20
Beef burger £2.20
Cheeseburger £2.70
Bacon burger £3
Tea, coffee, soup £1.20
Pepsi £1.20
Chocolate bar, crisps £0.70

Entry at £12 gives you free and easy access to all parts of the ground. I sat in the front row of the stand to avoid these annoying pillars and had a great view. I actually sat next to the club’s retired medical official who explained that with a large element of Spanish players in the side it was a little like watching Barcelona.

View of the Main Stand overlooked by the Hospitals in Headington

Oxford City FC Main Stand

Before the game got underway, a minute’s silence for the victims of the Shoreham air disaster was properly observed.

The game
Not quite like watching Barcelona, but Oxford City do play a nice passing game that is attractive to watch. At times this was a little over-elaborate and lacked a cutting edge. Despite leaving it very late to turn the screw, the home side gained a comfortable win with goals by Bubb (26), Santiago (87) and Coulson (90). Weston I’m afraid barely created a worthwhile chance.

Getting away
I walked directly back to the station in warm sunshine keeping to the main road back into Carfax via Magdalen Bridge. This took exactly one hour.

Overall thoughts
A thoroughly enjoyable day out and the exercise did me good. One disappointment though. The attendance. A mere 202.

Why not write your own review of the Oxford City Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 12th April 2017

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