Oldham Athletic 2-0 Swindon Town: Good only for groundhopping
As we approach the end of the season, and with a slew of first-team Washbag reporters unavailable, we were forced to rely on one of the reserves to try and grasp his opportunity. I think we know how this is going to go. So Iain Watkins decides he’ll keep it brief…
I’d never been to Oldham before. It felt like the sort of place we never got a result from (although we apparently won there back in December 2012). However, when the original game was rearranged, we’d just won four games in a row and they’d helpfully rescheduled it to take place during the Easter holiday. Plans were made for my first trip to Boundary Park (or whatever it’s called now). We haven’t won since.
With that in mind, I travelled to Greater Manchester not expecting much, apart from ticking another away ground off the list. That’s pretty much all I came back with. Here’s a breakdown of how my Tuesday evening went.
18:46 – Adver reporting Nicky Ajose absent, along with Obika, Robert, Thompson and Traore. For a few seconds I contemplate getting back in the car and heading straight home. I decide that’s probably foolish.
18:48 – Team news confirmed. No surprises. Pleased to see Iandolo given another run out. It strikes me that today’s matchday squad has scored 10 goals between them this season. Coincidentally, the same number of goals that we shipped over the Easter weekend.
19:01 – Having parted with £22 to enter the ground, only about three of us applaud the players as they arrive for their warm up. Although to be fair, there are only about 20 Town fans in the ground at the moment.
19:05 – ‘Football Phil’ has arrived. I stand motionless hoping that he won’t see me and will sit somewhere else. It works! Phew.
19:20 – ‘Superhero’ by Jane’s Addiction comes on over the PA system, which is something I’ve never experienced at a football game. How we could do with some sort of superhero to marshal our defence at the moment. And in goal. And up front. And…
19:43 – Teams are out. The Oldham ‘Athleticos’ up the far end have a drum. And some of them are waving giant flags. That proves to be the sum total of what atmosphere we get today.
19:46 – The game’s underway. Rodgers is the deeper of the three midfielders. That should give Louis Thompson some freedom to attack. For a few seconds, I start to feel confident.
19:51 – Anton’s already played two decent long passes with the outside of his foot, both of which found their target. Confidence level continues to build.
19:55 – And there we go, that didn’t take long. Jonathan Forte, who often seems to have blinders against us, gets away from Sendles-White down the left and his cross is met by an unmarked Liam Kelly to head home from what feels like 7-yards.
19:58 – I think we’ve just hit the post. Barry’s got forward well to meet a cross but it’s up the other end so I’ve no idea.
20:00 – Good positive run from BOO and decent ball across. Why can’t he do this more often?
20:07 – Forte’s just been booked for shooting after being given offside. Having just seen Iandolo also receive a rather harsh caution, it appears the ref is going to be fairly easily influenced into giving decisions.
20:12 – Oldham seem to be giving us plenty of time on the ball. Not that we’re doing much with it.
20:19 – Forte’s just changed one of his boots. He’s now playing with one orange boot and one white boot. It’s a good look.
20:22 – Anton’s just attempted to head a bouncing ball that he’s misjudged terribly. This seems to happen at least once a game at the moment.
20:25 – Belford’s nearly lost a bollock coming back over the hoardings from retrieving the ball. Didn’t something similar happen to Steve Mildenhall once?
20:32 – Half time. We’ve played ok. Hylton involved more than in recent games. Struggle to see where a goal will come from though. Feet getting cold.
20:58 – Decent chance for Iandolo, but he blazes over. He’s done ok today.
21:01 – Hylton off, Young on (I think – the muffled PA system is awful)
21:06 – Oldham’s left back has managed to let the ball run under his foot and out for a throw for the second time in 5 minutes. Meanwhile, it strikes me that our current front two (Young and Iandolo) have a combined age which is less than my age. This depresses me.
21:14 – Cooke on for Iandolo. I’d have personally sacrificed one of the midfield three and let Iandolo have a go behind two strikers rather than one. Probably Doughty – he’s not done much today.
21:16 – BOO appears to have been clipped in the box. Probably wasn’t. He was booked for the same on Saturday.
21:17 – Sendles-White hits a decent left-footed volley but it’s off target. Brophy replaces Barry.
21:25 – Oldham were awarded a free-kick ages ago. It’s still not been taken. I’m not sure the ref realises they’re shutting a road outside the ground at 22:00. Get on with it!
21:26 – Game over. From said free-kick, our “clearance” is knocked back in and Curtis Main is somehow awarded the freedom of our penalty area to lob a header over Belford. Another piss-poor goal to concede. I can probably leave now. I don’t.
21:33 – Town counter attack. Rodgers’ attempted through ball for Doughty gets caught under the latter’s feet allowing an Oldham player to nip in and he’s then fouled by Rodgers. Town’s performance summed up in about 3 seconds.
21:39 – All done. Probably slightly better than the Fleetwood performance, but that’s not saying much. Gotta go, need to get out of the car park before they shut the road.
So, I can tick Oldham off my list. I’d love to say my life has been enriched by watching another turd of a performance but I’d be lying. We go again Saturday.