Sky Bet League Two Preview - Oldham Athletic AFC

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 07 Jul 2018

History

Oldham Athletic AFC were formed in 1895 as Pine Villa, but became known as Oldham Athletic just four years later.

Prior to their relegation last season, The Latics had occupied the third tier of English football for over twenty years - as a result of their relegation from the Championship in 1997.

They play at Boundary Park, now known as SportsDirect.com Park, which currently holds 13,512 fans. However, the record attendance was over three times this amount in 1930 when Sheffield Wednesday visited in Round 4 of the FA Cup.

During this match, Oldham lost in thrilling fashion with the final score 4-3 and despite reaching the semi-finals on three occasions, they are yet hold aloft the FA Cup in their 123-year existence.

The Latics managed one better in the League Cup, reaching the Final in 1990, where they were desperately unlucky to lose 1-0 against Nottingham Forest – even then Forest manager Brian Clough admitted so post-match!

Oldham  were once the second-best team in England, finishing as runners-up in the First Division in the 1914/15 season - which is now of course the equivalent of today’s Premier League.

This came after the Latics toured the continent in 1911, meeting Central European teams as well as local rivals such as Blackburn Rovers in Budapest and Vienna.

When the new Premier League formed in 1992, Oldham were one of the founder members. In the first break-away campaign, they avoided relegation from the new league on goal difference, but missed out on survival by four points the following season.

Between their earlier relegation from the top flight in 1923, and their promotion a season prior to the Premier League’s creation, the Latics spent time in all three Football League divisions, winning the Second, Third and Third Division North, as well as being twice runners-up in the Fourth.

More recently, the Latics went into administration in 2003, but Simon Blitz, Danny Gazal and Simon Corney bought out the club, with the latter eventually selling to Abdallah Lemsagam in January of this year.

Last season

Everyone associated with Oldham Athletic will want to quickly forget and move on from last season’s relegation from League One and the club will no doubt come out firing in this upcoming campaign to rectify the form of last year.

The Latics faced Northampton Town on the final day of the season, who were almost certain for the drop that day - needing to match Rochdale’s result against Charlton Athletic.

However, a 2-2 draw at Sixfields wasn’t enough to make it 22 consecutive seasons in the Football League’s third tier for Richie Wellens’ men, with Rochdale winning 1-0.

Oldham drew 17 times in the league last season, and seven of these came in the final eight matches. Averaging almost a point per match is not the worst way to finish the campaign, but most likely frustrating for the Latics who seemingly couldn't  muster a win.

Nevertheless, their run-in was significantly more positive than their start. Oldham lost their first five fixtures in the 2017/18 campaign, including a 3-2 loss to Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup.

However, not long later, the Latics went unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, winning five of them. And between the end of September and the start of December, they lost just twice in the league.

Following their 5-1 victory against Northampton on 9th December, Oldham sat in 16th - but they couldn’t grasp a league win out of the next nine matches, dropping them into the relegation zone.

Three wins and two draws in the next five sparked a little hope for the Boundary Park boys, who had subsequently jumped out of the bottom three and established a two-point cushion.

But there was still a long way to go in the season, and one win and seven draws in the final eleven matches was not enough for survival… just.

Richie Wellens has since been replaced by Frankie Bunn as manager, and Oldham’s top scorer last season, Eoin Doyle has returned to parent club Preston North End.

But 2017 summer signing Dan Gardner remains at Boundary Park following 42 appearances for the Latics last campaign and is certainly one to watch this time round..

Macclesfield Town Head-to-Head

Macclesfield wins: 2
Games Drawn: 0
Oldham wins: 0

These teams have not met since before the Millennium, where a goal in the 84th minute from Efe Sodje bagged the Silkmen a 1-0 win nineteen years ago.

How to get there

By car

To get to Oldham Athletic, you will need to enter the M60, heading for Ring Road (E&N), Stockport, Sheffield and Leeds. You would then exit the M60 at Junction 22 and move onto the A62.

Once you reach the Manchester Street Roundabout, take the first exit onto the A627. On the next roundabout, take the second exit to continue on the A26, where there will soon be turning onto Westhulme Way on your right.

Turn off here, pass the B&Q warehouse and at the mini roundabout, take a left for the main reception or a right for parking. Official club parking costs £5 per car but this is for permit-holders only. The Hospital Car Park is very close by and costs £3.

If you plan on using Satellite Navigation for this trip, use the postcode OL1 2PA.

By train

The Mills Hill (MIH) train station is the closest to SportsDirect.com Park, located approximately 2.1 miles from the ground. The stadium is within walking distance for some, but it will still be worth looking for other public transport. Buses are available, or the local taxi number is 0161 633 6960. The website to go to for more information on public transport in the area would be www.rgm.com or call 0871 200 22 33.

By Jaquob Crooke

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