Ten things about Oldham on Saturday!

  1. Over the course of the last two weeks, we have now witnessed the best away performance of the season against Grimsby, and then just a week later the best home performance on Saturday against the Latics of Oldham. This is even more enjoyable to note when considering that they have been on a very decent run of form and had only recently achieved a stunning victory in the 3rd round of the FA Cup against Premier League side Fulham, and at Craven Cottage as well!!
  2. The excellent away following really does have to be commended, and  their presence helped to create a very decent atmosphere as both sets of supporters really got behind their team in what turned out to be a most enjoyable game on Saturday afternoon.
  3. Now to the game itself and it really couldn’t have got off to a worse start for us when within literally ten seconds of the kick-off; young Miles Welch-Hayes was adjudged to have handled in the penalty box. The exotically named Urko Vera took the spot kick and despite the valiant efforts of young Silkmen ‘keeper Kieran O’Hara, the ball eventually nestled in the net and the Latics were a goal to the good to the delight of their raucous following. The penalty seemed harsh as it appeared more ball to hand, and it is interesting to note that a recently retired Football League referee stood near me in Star Lane indicated that he would most definitely have NOT given the penalty as it seemed more ball to hand than hand to ball. Indeed the decision appeared even more controversial when a number of my Silkmen compatriots (including a steward) came up to me and claimed that their player was clearly offside in the build up that led to the penalty!
  4. The unfortunate incident so soon into the game did appear to knock the Silkmen off the stride in the opening minutes of the game and did my eyes deceive me or did I see Nathan Cameron make a mistake a few minutes later when he was dispossessed by one of their forwards in our half? Thankfully the minor misdemeanour proved not at all costly, and for the rest of the game Nathan was back to his imperious best doing what he does so magnificently; defending!
  5. Despite the early setback the Silkmen most definitely grew into the game as the half wore on, and the very energetic Harry Smith appeared to be brought down by their ‘keeper in the penalty area in front of the hordes of Oldham fans which would have facilitated not only a penalty but a red card for the keeper as well. However, on this occasion the referee appeared to ‘bottle it’ and waived away the penalty appeals to the derision of the Silkmen fans and the delight of the Latics faithful. Undeterred the Silkmen continued to battle on and deservedly drew level on the stroke of half time when Harry Smith produced an excellent clinical finish to silence the Latics faithful behind the goal in which he had scored, and elicit scenes of great celebration from all other areas of the ground.
  6. The Silkmen started the second half as dominantly as they had ended the first half, and it was no real surprise when Scott Wilson continued his fantastic recent rich vein of scoring form with an excellent finish that sent the Silkmen faithful into sheer ecstasy. Although they rattled the crossbar late on, there was only one team deserving of victory and that was the Silkmen who were cheered off the park at the end of the game.
  7. How nice it was to hear the Star Lane End faithful chanting Harry Smith’s name throughout the course of the game which must have given him a huge confidence boost, and is representative of a huge turnaround in the young striker’s fortunes from earlier in the season when he had been the victim of some harsh criticism early in his Silkmen career. May I suggest that the ‘Sol effect’ and the‘Cole effect’ are already working their magic on this young man who gave a masterful exhibition of centre forward play on Saturday, and was thoroughly deserving of receiving the accolade of yours truly’s Man of the Match.
  8. What I have been really surprised (yet most pleased) about is the outpouring of passion that can clearly be seen on the touchlines from Sol. I must admit that I  expected him to exhibit a cool dude aloof sort of demeanour but how wrong was I? Sol appears to kick every ball and his impassioned cajoling of the players really is a pleasure to see, and long may it continue. By the way Sol it would be nice to see you and the players come into the McIlroy Suite and mix with the fans after the game where there was such a feelgood factor in there after the game!
  9. I have to say I had to laugh at the complete irony of reading a comment by one of their fans on their message board who described us as ‘cloggers.’ The Latics were most definitely robust, even agricultural in their approach to say the very least. IMHO the Latics were the dirtiest team we have faced this season, and how they only managed to have one player sent off is a complete mystery to me, but hey ho what do I know?
  10. Even though a number of keyboard warriors had seen defeat to us as equivocal to a football apocalypse for them after losing to ‘an embarrassment to the Football League’, they are effectively a minority having heard some very positive comments from a number of Oldham fans after the game. I genuinely wish them well in their FA Cup fourth round tie against Doncaster Rovers and very much hope for the opportunity of another proper good North West derby against them next season. I am Silkmen till I die!! 

Featured Image courtesy of Chelsie Wilson.

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