In a week where off-field matters dominated the media, it seemed for all the world that a home game on a sunny Saturday would be just the tonic Latics fans needed.
The team news broke and finally the news Oldham fans had wished for, Josè Baxter was to start. Not only Baxter but also a return from injury for top scorer Sam Surridge.
Surely this was where the season was to really catch fire?
The moment when stars align and everything gels?
Finally the day we give someone a right going over?
Well, how wrong we were. An absolutely terrible, below par performance was to be served up. Players passing to empty spaces, defenders unwilling to make tackles, apart from one who seemed to think he was Bruce Lee! A really substandard display which seemed all too timely.
Very little heart or desire seemed to emanate from the team, no one seemed to be ‘up for it’ at all. Apart from Carlisle. Who were very well motivated and pressed us all game.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it would be hard for anyone to want to put a shift in for a club that continually struggles to pay its staff on time. Yet the talk in the stands was of the players delivering a performance like this to send a message to the board. A theory seemingly more plausible after a thumping Checkatrade Trophy win away at Bradford.
Whilst this may all seem a tad far-fetched, at the very least uncertain wages and doubts about the club, can not have been very far from their minds. Minds that needed to be focused on the job at hand.
A topsy-turvy season seems to be on the cards for the Latics, but if they are to achieve anything at all, performances like this need to be far from frequent. Wins in an unpopular Checkatrade trophy will do very little to erase Saturdays display from the mind. Luckily games come thick and fast in October, and hopefully, league form can pick up.
League 2 is there for the taking this year, go and get it Latics!