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U’s gate sets new mark
Oxford United attracted a record-breaking Nationwide Conference crowd yesterday for their home game against Woking - which lacked goals, but not atmosphere.
There were 11,065 spectators at the Kassam Stadium to see the Boxing Day clash, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
The attendance smashed the league's previous best gate by more than 1,600.
The record was set 18 years ago when 9,432 people saw Lincoln City play Wycombe Wanderers.
The U's came on to a huge cheer from the packed stands and a giant club flag was also unfurled during the first half, but the rousing support failed to inpsire the team to victory.
Some fans were disappointed by a flat first-half display, although the team rallied to give a more attacking display after the break.
Sam Peet, 54, from Charlbury, said: "It's frustrating. They missed a lot of chances and didn't try hard enough, considering how many people turned up."
Steve Painting, 26, from Witney, said: "They normally play very well on Boxing Day, but I'm a bit disappointed today.
"It was a good atmosphere, but the performance and the goals weren't there."
Not all fans left the ground feeling the whole event had been an anti-climax.
Terry Fry, 55, from Littlemore, said: "It's always a good day out on Boxing Day and the team couldn't have done more in the second half.
"The support is fantastic. There's a different atmosphere here now."
Alan Pickard, 40, from Abingdon, said: "The second half was well worth coming out for.
"It made the entrance fee worthwhile."
The club had set out to beat the Conference attendance record on Boxing Day as post-Christmas games traditionally attract big crowds.
United still lead the Conference table by two points in their bid to bounce back into the Football League at the first attempt.
Their nearest rivals, Dagenham & Redbridge, also drew 0-0, against Essex neighbours Grays Athletic.