As Darnell Furlong’s penalty hit the back of the Town End net on Tuesday evening, a hex spanning a decade-and-a-half, the best part of seven matches and one miserly goal scored was snapped as the colours of A420 rivals Oxford were finally lowered.

Except was it – and were they? Really?

Aside from the understandable relief at finally having something positive to talk about in relation to the old enemy – and a slightly-hyperbolic tweet from the club’s official account,which verged on the comedic – one senses many Town fans drew little tangible satisfaction from midweek events at the County Ground.

For that, you can largely blame the expanded, revamped, confusing, sparsely-attended, supporter-unfriendly mess that is the EFL (sorry, Checkatrade) Trophy.

The sight of goalkeeper Will Henry punching the air with delight after repelling three U’s penalties on Tuesday merely highlighted the plethora of paradoxes accompanying this reformatted, unwelcomed and surely ill-fated competition.

Many of those 2,700-odd hardy souls at the County Ground would have relished the displays of both Henry between the sticks and fellow teenager Tom Smith, whose mature midfield effort belied his tender years.

Yet as M K Dons boss Karl Robinson pointed out prior to Tuesday’s second round of group fixtures, the borderline draconian competition rules – which insist on a minimum of five first-teamers being fielded – meant that many of Henry and Smith's counterparts at League One and League Two clubs across the country were denied their own opportunity.

Unless of course they were at one of the so-named ‘Category One’ clubs, for whom the regulations are set up precisely so that burgeoning talent is given its chance to develop.

Highlighting this rules farce were Bradford, who substituted goalkeeper Colin Doyle after just three minutes of their 2-1 victory over Bury, while Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth – aged 45 – and Exeter chief Paul Tisdale have also appeared on the pitch or on the bench.

Then there is the enigma of the attendances, with the #BTeamBoycott campaign clearly making its presence felt across the country.

While the figures for matches against Chelsea and Oxford at the County Ground have been at the upper end of the scale as regards the competition as a whole, Tuesday’s was still the worst-ever attendance for a fixture between the two sides, sucking any sense of passion from the occasion.

So what next? The bottom line is Town now have a good chance of progressing to the last 32. The further they go, how will the stayaways react?

The feelings of the Town hierarchy, who took criticism for their finance-driven ticket policy for the abandoned Bristol Rovers league clash, towards hosting two matches whose combined attendance was around 1,000 less than any of their League One games this season, also remain a mystery.

Judging by this week’s rather terse media communique from the EFL, which insisted the ‘invited clubs’ should not be referred to as ‘Under 23’ or ‘Development’, the powers that be may be feeling the pressure to limit the tournament’s lifespan to its one-year pilot.