Two opportunities to see Oxford’s football teams on TV last week and neither ended terribly well.

On Tuesday (March 12) Oxford United travelled to Bolton Wanderers and, sadly, the Trotters gave them a bit of a kicking.

It was always going to be hard for the U’s but within twenty minutes I had turned over.  I felt very guilty about this but suspect I was not alone and that’s sad.

Seeing Kirsty Allsop and Phil Baldybloke try and sell a house was more entertaining than watching Fin Stevens and Ruben Rodrigues wander around with little idea of location, location, location.

I have seen United fans talk about the curse of TV, believing that they never do well in televised matches.  I’m not sure how many curses one club can have.

The ground is cursed, they changed from Wednesday nights to Tuesdays because Wednesday nights were cursed and now it’s the TV stations’ fault. All channels. Perhaps that’s easier than saying that the better team won.

All credit to Des Buckingham and his players to then bounce back and beating Port Vale on Saturday.

There was some criticism when winger Owen Dale said in his post-Bolton interview that the players would have Wednesday off and then come back and work hard on Thursday.

How dare they take a day off after a drubbing?

But people forget that the team bus will have got back to the training ground at 2am and that for players like Jamie Cumming there is at least another hour’s drive until they get home.

No point in risking fatigue-related injuries the next day, better to rest up, lick wounds (physical and mental) and go again the next day. It worked. Move on.

Then on Sunday (March 17), it was the turn of Oxford City, live on TNT with the scaffold TV gantries in place for a birds eye view of the Marston Rysh Hour Madness all week and then a game against Halifax Town on the lush plastic pitch.

The Shaymen were (Ebeneezer) good and in ecstasy after a 2-0 win, both goals coming inside one first half minute.

Otherwise, there really wasn’t much to choose between the sides. Ross Jenkins’ team gave a good account of themselves without ever truly looking like scoring.

I like the way City have gone about things this season though.

Relegation will be confirmed if they lose at Fylde on Saturday but they haven’t thrown money at things, they have stuck to their guns and stuck to their budgets and the club itself looks to be moving forward.

IF (big if) they can bounce back to that level soon then this year’s experience will do them the world of good.

And perhaps that Bolton nightmare might do United good in the long term too.

They are still in the hunt for the playoffs but were they to go up then a Wembley win would be needed and then they would be playing against teams even bigger than Bolton, week in and week out.

Maybe the last week or so have shown both Oxford clubs the level they are going to need to reach.

There were 180 minutes of Oxford on TV and nobody had a clue. It was like watching Morse, and like the great detective I longed for the pub…