Newspaper delivery people in short supply, cricket matches conceded due to lack of available players, milk delivered unbelievably early, could only mean one thing, the Wanderers were marching on Wembley for the League 1 Play-off Final against Oxford United.

The excitement had been building all week as fans scrambled to get hold of tickets and secure their transport to London.

News of fans flying in from all over the world, others on pre-booked foreign holidays working out where they could watch it on TV.

Weekends booked in London and surrounding areas. Coach seats secured, train journeys planned, or car drivers chosen, meant over 32,000 Wanderers fans would be walking down Wembley Way, instead of the Manny Road.

For those of us travelling down on the day, we were up at the crack of dawn. Sandwiches packed, ‘BWFC Wembley 2024’ encrusted pork pies included, along with other snacks and drinks.

Hurried showers taken and breakfasts consumed by those who could eat, with the nerves starting to kick in, following a sleepless night for many fans.

Suddenly it was time to get to the pick-up points for the battalion of coaches booked for the trip South. The M6 became a sea of Whites coaches, overwhelming the service stations on the way, with Norton Canes under siege - echoing to the sounds of the Wanderers choir, singing the praises of Cameron Jerome on the bench.

The mood was festive. After all we had proved to be masters of Wembley last year, as we hammered Plymouth Argyle in the Papa Johns Trophy Final.

We had been devouring statistics all week to try and glean any advantages we held over Oxford and justify why we were favourites. We had finished third compared to Oxford’s fifth, 10 points and seven more goals scored than Oxford, including a 5-0 thrashing a few weeks ago.

But and it is a big but, previous history and statistics count for nothing in a one-off final. It is down to who does it on the day.

The least said about the match the better as we simply did not turn up. Oxford out thought and outfought us. We just couldn’t get going and didn’t even register one shot on target. It was depressing. It was embarrassing.

It is too soon and too raw to hold the inquest. Let’s congratulate Oxford on a thoroughly deserved victory and wish them well for next season.