FOOTBALL fans have long tried to devise fail-safe ways of predicting matches – but Oxford United supporters will hope the latest method is wide of the mark.

Father-and-son duo Ben and Felix Selfe assigned marbles to each team in Sky Bet League One and raced them along a 30ft homemade track.

They used the results to predict this season's final table, with the U's crossing the line 21st and doomed to relegation to League Two.

The Bristol City fans began making tracks to stave of boredom during lockdown and their first race sought to foresee who the club would appoint as their new manager.

Oxford Mail:

They were incorrect, but Mr Selfe and his son, aged three, created a new track using props including a paddling pool, an old wardrobe door and even a life-size cardboard cut-out of ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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The 31-year-old from Kent said: “Our latest track is much more intricate and comprehensive, so we’re confident our predictions will be more accurate this time around.

“It took us a couple of days to make this track and make sure it all worked.

“We made it out of football memorabilia, like my collection of match-day programmes, my dad’s childhood Subbuteo collection, and a football themed flower pot I painted years ago.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Selfe and his son staged races for each of the top four divisions of English football and United started theirs promisingly.

The U's hit a snag to fall behind their rivals, before closing the gap in the latter stages.

But United were pipped by Gillingham, who they play on Saturday, leaving them in the final relegation position.