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The Hollow Men: Oldham Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 09/02/2004

A bright, semi-breezy wintery afternoon in Partyland, with a full house, people begging for "spares", latecomers walked around the pitch to empty seats, men in kilts, balloons, and mascot’s waggling their backsides in the faces of bald men.

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

Oldham Athletic 6 Grimsby Town 0
08 Feb 2004, Nationwide League Division 2

What more could one ask for on a February afternoon? It’s what makes Britain great.

Most of the Town seats were taken, so perhaps around 1,300 were gathered together in the Slumberland Dunlopillo stand. How nice of them to make us feel at home by naming it in honour of Simon Ford. Ominously the Town support brought along a small ball to bounce around the stand. We always lose when they bring that. Ominously the team turned up. We always lose when the club bring that. Town warmed up in the now usual half hearted, I’d rather be under the sea in an Octopus’s garden way, whilst Oldham purposefully clipped, chipped, jogged and did team-like things enthusiastically. Out there, on the pitch, the party continued, with a parade of stars, singing, dancing, jokes old and new (Iffy and Thorpe) and as the teams ran out the Town fans tore up their tickets and gave a splendid, roaring ticker tape welcome. Or perhaps they were taunting those lazy Oldhamites who had arrived too late, the "spares" fluttering out of the stand, over the turnstiles and past their noses. Oh, and the teams ran out down a corridor of kilted men blowing bagpipes. Fortunately the wind didn’t pick up and lift up their skirts.

Town lined up in a 4-4 2 formation, as shown On the bench was the man with more flair in his pen than feet, Percy Bysshe Onuora. Crowe was at right back and everyone else where you’d expect them to be. The Oldham players huddled together in a great big group hug whilst the Town players stood around staring at the sky. It may look a bit daft, but the hugging did symbolise their togetherness, to be contrasted with the Town players. Eleven men connected by a common coloured polyester, hardly talking to each other, or looking at each other. Like strangers passing in the street, only by chance two separate glances meet. Hello, you must be Mr Campbell.

1st half

Town kicked off away from the massed mariners and didn’t welly it out of play. Barnard carefully curled a chipped pass up the inside left channel, the ball dropping on Thorpe’s boot and being delicately laid off, first time, to Boulding, just outside the penalty area. He fell over when a defender whispered "Hello Dolly" in his right ear. Well, wouldn’t you?

Not a bad start, a bit of movement, some passing and a nice little touch by Thorpe. Thirty seconds later the wobbles started. Crowe tackled Groves, passing the ball back down the touchline towards the Town goal straight to an Oldham player and something happened, can’t remember exactly what, but it involved a lot off flapping of arms and jumping about. The right side of Town’s defence was conspicuous by its absence, with farmer Jethro Campbell determinedly ploughing a single strip of land ten yards either side of the half way line, and Crowe loving the attacking possibilities of being a wing back, but without the back bit. Pity he was supposed to be a full back then. Three times in the first ten minutes Crowe zoomed down the right wing, dribbling past one, two, three O’Leary defenders. Exciting for a few microseconds, but when possession was lost there was nothing behind, and no sense of urgency in filling that void.

Edwardsred card
Barnardyellow card
Jevonsyellow card


Anderson46 mins
Ford46 mins


Anthony Leake


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The report continues in Part Two.

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