Monday, January 01, 2007

Oldham 5-0 Notts Forest

I've just got back from just about the best Oldham match I've ever watched - the team destroyed Nottingham Forest 5-0 to enter the automatic promotion spots for the first time all season.

Granted the referee helped somewhat - we were awarded two penalties, and Forest had two players sent off, but I think all four decisions were about right. The first, some Forest defender called Clingham elbowed Will Haining. The Oldham defender looked like he was pole-axed. It could have been a good bit of acting, but either way, Oldham had done enough to frustrate Forest totally by that point - Oldham had already hit the woodwork twice, while Forest had done nothing. Admittedly the first of the two woodwork hits had been flagged offside, it showed Oldham's ability to pick apart Forest with ease. After the sending off, Oldham scored a glorious goal, with Eardley laying the ball wide nicely for Liddel to fire in the perfect cross for Warne to head into the bottom corner of the net, giving the goalkeeper no chance. It was the least Oldham deserved, as they were the only team in the match.

It wasn't long before the second goal arrived,Liddel hitting an excellent volley from just inside the area after yet another cross had been half-cleared, and after the volley was parried by the Forest goalkeeper, Porter was on hand to hit the ball home for his 17th or 18th goal of the season. It's rapidly turning into a too-good-to-be-true season, and today was quickly becoming a too-good-to-be-true day, and that impression was only enhanced when with a couple of minutes to go before half-time, Taylor burst into the area, and before he could fire in another of his excellent crosses, he was clipped and clearly fouled. The only issue was whether or not the foul was inside or outside the area. To my joy, inside the area was the referee's judgement, and Liddell had a penalty to convert to complete an amazing first half for the Latics. He duly did so, and Oldham went in 3-0 ahead.

The second half continued in a similar fashion, Forest didn't look much like doing anything, and Oldham kept threatening. Before long, a lovely ball from Liddell set Porter clear, and he was hauled down, another obvious penalty. The referee pointed to the spot, and the question was, red or yellow card? It wasn't possible to tell from the other end of the ground where I was sat whether or not the Forest defender was the last man, but the referee showed the red card: another penalty, Oldham already 3-0 up, and Forest down to 9 men - dream stuff! Liddell converted the penalty, and Oldham were 4-0 up.

Keep-ball by the confident Oldham team against the tiring 9-man Forest was only going to see one outcome, and while Forest did have one offside goal disallowed, and have a valid shot on target after Tyson and Lester were introduced, Oldham looked the more likely scorers as they continued to totally dominate the match. Just as the rather fed-up Forest fans were singing 4-0 to the referee, a pass by an Oldham player bounced inadvertently off the referee to Liddell, whose shot was saved, but the rebound fell to the substitute Rocastle to complete Forest's misery with Oldham's fifth goal.

Simply amazing, dream stuff for any Oldham fan. Oldham go ahead of Forest into 2nd place, and face in two weeks time Scunthorpe, the league leaders, at their ground. It's bound to be a superb game, sadly I won't be able to make it from Oxford. But I'll be there next week when we take on Wolves in the FA Cup. Bring it on. Now it's time I left to get back to Oxford.

Oh, and my prediction was way out for the attendance: finally football fever has gripped Oldham - 9,768, with 8,000 of those Oldham supporters. I don't mind being wrong if more fans are coming through the gates. It'll present a nice problem for my forecasting model, trying to capture this effect!


At 6:16 pm, Blogger John said...

Good report. I bet you're still smiling - all the way back to Oxford.

Now, you're the expert. Can we hang on to these extra 3,000 fans?

I used to be a curate in Thame (but a lifelong Latics fan). Which church do you belong to?

It would be good to see you at Molineux. I'm in JLS area, row G steats 0164 and 0163. Are you anywhere nearby?



At 11:17 pm, Blogger John said...

That should be JL6 Row G seats 163/164.

But I'll try to seek you out if I can.

My email is

At 12:08 pm, Blogger Alan said...

The first red is to be appealed, so it will be interesting to see if it is indeed overturned (as I expect it to be).

That aside though, Oldham were the better team regardless of the inept referee (and he was inept).

Oh yes, and there is no such team as "Notts Forest".

At 2:06 pm, Blogger Jimmy Reade said...

I'm not convinced that an appeal to the first red card will be successful - the Forest player clearly leads with the elbow, and that's a red card offence, regardless of whether or not Sheridan supports your appeal.

Other than that, Notts was written slightly tongue in cheek, but I'm sure it's a valid abbreviation for Nottingham isn't it?


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