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26/12 Oldham Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 27/12/2003

A huge, hulking Aussie with an unpronounceable name, Pogliacomi. Isn’t that served with pasta twirls and a sprinkling of hard cheese?

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Oldham (h)

Grimsby Town 3 Oldham Athletic 3
26 Dec 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

And Town continued to attack, surging down the right, Barnard twisting turning, drifting, driving on, to Campbell, a cross half cleared and back to Pouton, in the centre, 25 yards out. The moment to make grown men weep - a Pouton goal on his return, or for grown men to weep with laughter as he returns to form and slices it into the Imp’s car park? Neither, but a slight comic twist on events sir, for Pouton’s shot was charged down, taking a huge deflection off to the left, straight to the man in the white boots. JEVONS, near the corner of the penalty area, opened up his body and carefully lobbed a right footed volley over Poggy and into the left hand corner of the goal. Up went his arms, up went the crowd and out came the spoons from significant sections of the Town crowd, for the finish was magnificent, as shiny as a chrome cooker hood. Spoons? Needed to consume that humble pie, left over from yesterday.

Less than 10 minutes gone and already more stuff happening than usually passes this way on Saturday afternoons. What would these Boxing Day trippers make of it all, it’s hadn’t taken them so long to find out what we’ve found out about Town. Here we go, that great big scary Gorgon Zola was free again, scored again, offside again. It was already clear that there was no way Town’d keep a clean sheet. Waves of yellow flowing over them like custard overload, drowning the apple tarts in defence, or more specifically poor old Crane, who was made to look foolish several times, simply through his inability to move in the same century as Johnson.

After a quarter of an hour Johnson, for the third time, was flicked through and beyond the Town defence. Crane turned to run back and Johnson ran across Big Bird’s flight path. Crane stumbled, Johnson fell, the Oldham fans went ballistic, the Town fans silent. Crane walked off, was called back by the referee and walked off again as the red card was wafted in front of his nose. The Pontoon, being in the perfect position to see these things of course, decided that Crane wasn’t the last man, and had barely touched Johnson, if at all. Without watching the video endlessly, it is very difficult to work oneself into a soapy lather of indignation, for if it had been Boulding who fell we’d have gone stratospheric with anger, demanding several limbs as a sacrifice. Johnson was so fast he was effectively clear, Town were just hoping for refereeing benevolence, and we haven’t had that since about 1906. Crane off, Town flapping, Town fans worried at the sight of Ford warming up on the touchline. Onoura was taken off and on came Ford, with some of Onoura’s loudest critics having a life changing Damascene conversion to the wonders of Iffy. The free kick, from about 25 yards out on the centre left was curled towards the centre of goal and Davison was forced to tip the ball over the bar, somewhat spectacularly.

Oldham flew forward pressing, probing, zipping, zapping, scoring. Town had a mini-attack, with Hudson keeping Town at bay with a telescopic inspector gadget-like elongation of his right leg. Off Oldham went upfield, down their left. Half repulsed by Edwards and McDermott they simply kept possession, intelligently working the ball around waiting for a gap. They found it, down the Town left, with a player spinning down the wing, overlapping, crossing from the bye-line into the centre of gaol, perhaps eight yards out. JOHNSON dived forward and headed at Davison, who half stopped the ball, but it eventually rolled over the line on the centre left.

Cranered card


Cas77 mins
Ford18 mins
Mansaram68 mins


Graham Salisbury


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Town were spurred on and had an exciting minute or two. Hamilton breaking forward from the half way line on the left, the defence backing off, onwards, onwards, onwards to the edge of the penalty area. To pass, to shoot, perchance to dream of actually doing something right? Des eschewed the simple pass to Boulding electing to shin the ball even further forward straight to a defender. A corner to Town, on the right, curled into the near post. Jevons rising, alone, time to think, time to sink to his knees as he flicked a header a foot or two over the bar. The crowd briefly spurred Town on, but the momentum was quickly lost as these "new" fans were too thickly set amongst the die hards, and simply didn’t know how to chant, to sing, to support. They watched, they waited and then it came, another Jevons moment. Another Town corner, half repulsed, scraped clear to Pouton in the centre, 30 yards out, the ball lobbed back to Ford on the edge of the area. He controlled the ball, espied the unmarked Jevons to his left and dinked a delicate pass through the floundering, flaky defenders. Jevons took two strides and Poggy sprinted off his line and flung himself at the Tippex-booted talisman. Jevons, eight yards out and to the left of goal, tried to lift the ball over the ‘keeper, but it struck an antipodean limb and deflected a yard wide of the near post.

This was a brief respite in the Oldham charge, for they ripped Town apart continually. Only some excellent last minute blocks and hassles by the talented triumvirate, Edwards, Macca and Barnard, kept them away from Davison. Oldham were getting closer and closer, smothering the Town penalty area with yellow bodies. Movement, tricks and flicks, pace, some sumptuous football, what a weird division. A momentary glimmer of hope as just past the half hour Town broke away down the centre right. The ball spun to the left of the area, with Jevons and another Town player closing in on the bouncing ball. Boshell just managed to get to the ball before either Townite, lifting it forward, a touch, a spin, a pass, and they were free down the Town left, racing forward in numbers. Johnson and Zola haring around, a man free on their left. The ball drilled low across the face of the area by Zola to a rampaging riddler, about 20 or so yards out near the corner of the penalty area. One touch from COOKSEY and thwaboom - the ball seared the turf as it cracked into the bottom left hand corner. It was a truly brilliant goal, fluid teamwork and a marvellous finish that gave Davison no chance at all. It was even applauded by some Town fans and it was the least Oldham deserved.

Oldham continued to pour forward and a couple of minutes after their second goal they stripped Town to their underpants down the right. Someone got to the bye-line, twisting past Ford and advancing into the area. He clipped a cross towards the near post and some other guy stopped and headed against Davison’s left hand post. Lucky old Town eh? Two goals, two disallowed goals and two shots against the woodwork in just 35 minutes. It could have been a lot worse, couldn’t it. The Oldham fans were enjoying their day out, adopting that annoying Mancunian posture of "larging it". Don’t count your chickens too soon, matey boys. Boulding was trying his little heart out, giving Haining a difficult time, winning plenty of free kicks with his ability to trip over his own feet if need be. He even got Haining booked for complaining about a free kick, given after Boulding had tried, and failed, to win his level one swimming proficiency badge with a piked belly flop in front of the Pontoon.

A Town break, Boulding free, to Jevons, now Boulding unmarked to his left, 25 yards out. What to do, what to do? Does glory beckon? Yes, Jevons, 30 yards out sees a bouncing ball, he sees Anfield, he sees the ball slice a yard wide of the top left hand corner of the goal. As half time approached Pouton grabbed the moment and gave the crowd what they wanted, a step over, in the 40th minute. Appetites duly whetted for 2004. Anything else? Yeah, loads, but so much it isn’t possible to remember all Oldham’s attacks, shots and near misses. Davison made a late entry for those end of year blooper awards when a huge whack into the penalty area bounced from left to right and kept on going. He chased the ball, as did an Oldham attacker. The ball caught the wind and kept on going, with Davison and yellow peril running after it, out of the area, towards the corner flag, with Davo eventually bundling ball and player out of play. They really shouldn’t use those cheap plastic balls from the seafront, it’s a false economy.

Half time: Grimsby Town 1 Oldham Athletic 2

And that was the first half. Even with eleven men Town were being whupped, with ten it was a case of close your eyes and hope Oldham miss. Campbell was the human dynamo again, Edwards stepping in, Barnard sweeping, Pouton barking orders and glowering at team mates, Boulding tireless in an non-Nogan way and, er, Hamilton was on the pitch.

It was painful viewing - where is that sea mist when you need it?

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"You can’t tell by the way you walk, or the way you talk, that you’re a Disco Des fan".
"I think I’d be happy with 2-1 by the end".
"That’s not the Zola who used to play for Chelsea, is it?"
"Well, my mum liked it, but she is related to me, and it’s not often you can say that".
"...and then the vicar’s son opened the door in his underpants".

The report continues in the Second Half.

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