IT IS often said home advantage counts for a goal headstart, but the Kassam Stadium has been anything but a fortress for Oxford United this season.
The fixture list for the penultimate weekend of the season is packed with exciting clashes as clubs fight for points to go up, or stop themselves from going down.
But the final home game of the season for the U’s has little riding on it – chiefly because of their previous results at the Kassam.
The home fans have seen as many defeats – eight – as victories this season.
Instead, most of their best moments have come on the road.
The pattern is especially marked over the second half of the campaign, when a deteriorating playing surface has not helped.
While United have enjoyed an away record which rivals the best in npower League Two, they have won just three of their last 11 home games, scoring only seven goals.
U’s boss Chris Wilder is hoping to finish on a high for the home fans, but admits it has been their Achilles heel.
He said: “The away record has been pretty positive, especially since Christmas when we’ve had some fantastic performances and results on the road.
“But really we’ve not backed that up at home, so even though we only find ourselves two wins outside of it with everything that’s gone off, certainly the home record has not been strong enough this year.
“You look to win the bulk of your games at home and we’ve not done that, so tomorrow represents an opportunity to see if we can get a last home win and just tweak that record a little bit.”
The main frustration for the U’s boss is often his side have been the better side, without making the most of their efforts.
He said: “We’ve not taken enough chances at critical times and let some daft goals in.
“Look at the Morecambe game (a 1-1 draw), you’d say it was an OK performance, especially in the second half, but we didn’t take our chances and then the one odd chance they had they hurt us.
“The moans and groans from the stands after Morecambe was the same as the moans and groans in the dug out – ‘how have we come away from that with only a point?’
“Apart from Gillingham, when Ryan Clarke made some outstanding saves, I can’t remember the last time my goalkeeper had a man-of-the-match award at home.”