Tag Archives: Exeter City

Examining Oldham Athletic’s 19/20 League 2 Opponents: Crewe, Forest Green Rovers and Exeter

Continuing the definitive guide to the 19/20 League Two season for Oldham supporters.

Crewe Alexandra

Trainspotters flock to Crewe railway station as it’s one of the most historically significant railway stations in the world but they wouldn’t want to suffer the embarrassment of being seen at Gresty Road.

Nickname: The Railwaymen (eye roll)

Sponsor: Hornby

Star Supporter: Thomas the Tank Engine

Club Mascot: Derek the Delayed Diesel

Half Time Entertainment: The Buffet Car Sandwich Challenge

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Pretty good chance if we’re doing well

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: John Bowler 82 years old and associated with the club since 1980. Very quiet on the scandal that hit the club last year. 10/10

One to Watch: Perry Ng the player with an aversion to vowels.

Style Of Play: Containment with delays and cancellations.

Speciality Pie Flavour: Mysterious and deep filled lucky dip

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1680 seats with a few obstructive pillars.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Paddy works on the railroad

End of Season Prediction: 13th

Exeter City

The only two games Exeter supporters are bothered about next season are the ones against Plymouth who share the same bare patch of football wasteland which is the South West of the country. Nobody else cares about either of them.

Nickname: ‘The Grecians’ which the origin of is apparently the subject of speculation and debate. Or not.

Sponsor: The Clotted Cream Company

Star Supporter: Coldplay’s Chris Martin

Club Mascot: Winnie the Witch
(The city is infamous for being the last place where a woman was trialled and executed for witchcraft.)

Half Time Entertainment: The ducking stool challenge

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: There were plans to last season with a win needed to keep up with the playoff places but distance is always going to be a problem.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Julian Tagg. As the club is owned by the supporters they don’t appear to have any problems with their Chairman. Funny that! 1/10

One to Watch: Jonathan Forte because ex Latics players always get one over on us.

Style Of Play: Hopeful

Speciality Pie Flavour: Some sort of meat but don’t ask for gravy this far South.

Away End Capacity and Condition: 950 but the ground is looking a bit tired.

Likely Pre Match Songs: Something unintelligible about drinking cider

End of Season Prediction: 16th

Forest Green Rovers

The first thing people say when you mention FGR is their switch to being 100% vegan so I won’t mention it. Only kidding…

Nickname: Rovers (double eye roll)

Sponsor: Nigirizushi Steaks

Star Supporter: Bear No Grills

Club Mascot: Tommy Tofu

Half Time Entertainment: Hunt the Hot Dog

Will Oldham Take Over The Town?: Doubtful given the red meat eating habits of your average Oldhamer.

Mad Chairman Score Out Of 10: Dale Vince the architect of the ‘vegan revolution’ at the club. Our highest scorer so far 11/10

One to Watch: Reuben Reid. Having played for most of the clubs in the Football League (including Oldham) the only reason he hasn’t left FGR is probably because he’s too weak to move due to the vegan diet.

Style Of Play: Pass (the stinky tofu) and move.

Speciality Pie Flavour: Raw Vegan Cantaloupe and Watermelon Nigiri-Sushi

Away End Capacity and Condition: 1000 and nothing special

Likely Pre Match Songs: Green Onions – Booker T and the MG’s

End of Season Prediction: 10th *(10 points deducted for selling an inedible pastie)

Next week: Grimsby Town, Leyton Orient and Macclesfield

Oldham Suffer First Defeat, But Has Wild Done Enough To Deserve The Job?

Winning the last three league games was always going to be a big ask for Peter Wild and his squad, especially as two of those games were away from home and a fair distance from Boundary Park. However, it doesn’t matter how far or near games are, they have to be overcome and although Latics lost for the first time in six games the performances since the defeat at Lincoln have been well worth the entrance money.

As there have been no additions to the squad or players returning from lengthy injury absence, the credit for the 14 points from six games must go to Peter Wild and the effect he has had on the squad.

There has been no great change in tactics but Wild obviously recognises the limitations of the squad and has managed to adjust accordingly. Given that the players know Wild well and appear to be content with his style of coaching, the idea of anyone else taking over the reins at present would be an unpopular decision.

Many believe that if the club hadn’t got themselves involved in the Paul Scholes debacle, we might be preparing for the playoffs instead of missing out on them by the skin of our teeth. The six points from seven games under Scholes may long be looked at as a wasted opportunity.

Consequently, giving Wild the job on a full time basis must be looked at as a serious option, and that decision should be made before the end of the season to put a halt to any uncertainty and to give the players who will still be with the club and the supporters some much needed normality.

With two games still to play, Wild will be looking to get Athletic into the best league position possible and has hinted that some players who haven’t been featured this season may see themselves in the starting line up. One of those is midfielder Chinedu Uche who was on the bench at Exeter and, is another youngster who Latics are hoping to push into the first team.

There is unlikely to be a large following from Oldham at Newport on Tuesday night given that our slim chance of reaching the playoffs has ended, but it is a game that the South Wales club really need to win to put them in a strong position going into the final weekend of the season. Peter Wild may wonder what his future holds at Boundary Park but he won’t let it get in the way of seeking three points.

Wild Will Look to Edge Closer To The Playoffs By Closing The Gap To Exeter With a Win

Mathematics may not be everybody’s favourite subject but, even those of us who struggle with simple equations will feel confident in explaining the formula Oldham need to book their place in the playoffs. There is little doubt that Peter Wild will have also pressed home the simple fact to the players, that if Latics win their last three games they will finish the season in seventh place and those around them can do what they like as it won’t make the slightest difference.

With 10 of the top 12 teams playing each other this Saturday, the final week of the season could not have been set up more dramatically. With only Forest Green Rovers showing better form than Athletic in the league over the last 6 games, the visit of a club breathing down their necks is probably the last thing Exeter City need at the moment.

The South West club have hit poor form with only one win in the last six and will be well aware that Oldham have seen off Mansfield, Tranmere and Colchester recently and are experiencing a great run of confidence under Peter Wild which they will be looking to continue.

Wild knows the scale of what he is asking his players to do and he rightly pointed out the nervousness of the Mansfield side on Easter Monday and how the same pressure could affect Exeter. He also made reference to the 92/93 season when Latics had to win their last three games to stay in the Premier League which he experienced from the terraces, and although a lot of water has passed under the bridge from those days, the analogy will not be lost on a good number of the supporters still keeping the faith 26 years later.

It is plain to see that the Athletic players are perfectly capable of beating any of the clubs in League Two, they have just needed the right motivation and confidence. Peter Wild has managed to instill the will to win in the squad which has brought them to the brink of an extended season via the playoffs, and has been praised from various sources for his positive approach.

Needless to say, all the supporters coaches embarking on the long trip to Exeter have sold out and Wild once again paid tribute to the club’s vociferous fans who have been a feature of games up and down the country this season. With an estimated 500+ planning to brave the motorway traffic, their part in the proceedings will be just as important as the performance on the pitch.

5 points off PlayOffs, 3 Unbeaten, 1 Game in-Hand, Wild’s Got Things Going Right For Oldham

While most of the country were glued to their TV’s watching the Champions League quarter finals unfold, fans of any of the clubs in the top third of the League Two table will have had their eyes on the two fixtures being played at a much less lofty position.

Bottom placed Macclesfield were engaged in a fight for survival against seventh placed Exeter and, Swindon and Newport were hoping to take advantage of their game in hand to edge them nearer to the play off places.

Latics fans would have been hoping for a draw between Swindon and Newport and an unlikely but not impossible win for Macclesfield. Their wishes came true as a certain Harry Smith scored two vital goals for Macclesfield, which lifts them out of the relegation places and the other teams played out a goalless draw.

The results could not have been better for Latics, Carlisle, Colchester and Stevenage who are all capable of reaching seventh place. The one difference however, is that Latics have a game in hand and could tip Exeter out of the last promotion place if they keep up their current winning form and beat Exeter on the 27th April.

Of course to do this, Latics need to win four or five league games on the trot, something they haven’t managed to do for the best part of 14 years therefore, it might well be made easier if the teams around them continue to drop points.

In the games leading up to Easter, many of the teams surrounding Latics face some tough fixtures and given that injuries, suspensions and fatigue all play a part in late season ambitions, there is still a great chance that Latics could, incredibly as it seems, be in contention for a top seven finish.

Already, our remaining away games that would have been largely ignored at Cheltenham, Exeter and Newport are being targeted by Latics impressive travelling army. It seems incredible that Oldham’s season has been given almost a second chance and if they can overcome Swindon this weekend to make it four wins in a row it will certainly appear that with Peter Wild back in charge things are starting to go right again.

The Ultimate Oldham Athletic End Of Season Predictor

Just eleven games remain for Oldham this season which will decide whether they are to finish glorious late finishers or inglorious mid table nonentities. These are the remaining games which we have to negotiate.

Cambridge (A) Cruised easily past these in the fixture at Boundary Park with a cringingly awful team selection so should get something out of this trip. Prediction 2-1 win for Latics. 3 points.

Lincoln (A) Highly unlikely that the League leaders will have an off night. Latics lack of concentration recently is likely to be in evidence again. Prediction 2-0 defeat. 0 points

Tranmere (H) Often a much anticipated fixture with the added bonus of ex  Oldham midfielder Ollie Banks in the Tranmere side. Latics fans see him as something of a chocolate fireguard so he no doubt will get on the scoresheet in the dying seconds. Prediction 1-1. 1 point

Newport (A) It’s nearly 40 years since Oldham travelled to South Wales to face Newport and the ensuing period has seen both teams follow vastly different paths. This season however, Newport have performed well but dropped out of the running for promotion much like Latics. Prediction 1-1. 1 point

Grimsby (H) Grimsby are a side who have dragged themselves out of the relegation places and at one point looked like they might challenge for the play offs. Frankie Bunn’s side easily cruised past The Mariners last September and will be looking to do the same again. Prediction 2-1. 3 points

Colchester (A) Colchester are currently still in with a chance of making the playoffs but whether they still will be in 5 games time is anybody’s guess. What remains certain is that Colchester is still in the back end of nowhere and any Oldham fans making the trip deserve a medal. Prediction 0-1. 3 points (because we always win games when there’s only 50 fans who’ve made the trip)

Swindon (H) Another side who may well be out of the running for the playoffs by the time we face them. Managed by former Latics player/boss Richie Wellens they were members of the Premier League and relegated alongside us in 93/94. It is gratifying to see that we’re not the only club to have fallen spectacularly from grace. Prediction 1-1. 1 point

Cheltenham Town (A) Good Friday usually meant a good tub-thumping local derby but it now means a trip to Gloucestershire on a day when public transport is at a premium. Another team who have had a relatively obscure season and will see anything but the bottom two as a massive achievement. Prediction 0-0. 1 point

Mansfield Town (H) An Easter Monday visit from a team third in the table and less than 65 miles away should ensure a decent away following and given their fairly decent away form, they should leave with all 3 points to. Prediction 0-2. 0 points

Exeter City (A) The only time Oldham fans feel they should be traveling anywhere near Exeter is when they spend a week on an overpriced caravan site in Torquay. Another horrendous away trip for our supporters and given the playoff aspirations of Exeter, we are likely to return empty handed. Prediction 1-0. 0 points

Northampton Town (H) Memories of that day 12 months previous when a draw against Northampton relegated us from League One will no doubt occupy the minds of Latics fans on the last day of the season. There could well be a sterling performance from the on loan players who are leaving. Prediction 4-0. 3 points

That would leave Latics on 63 points, historically over the past years that’s enough to finish around mid-table. Which is the perfect platform for Scholes to build upon next season.

A Stag Doo in Pink Hats, Win a Shed & Cheap Beer – My Best Away Day

I love away days. I love away days all the more when you drop down the leagues.

Go to a Premier League game and you are going to major cities in the main, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff. Slip down a bit and it’s got to be a bit more of an adventure.

I have largely misspent my youth traipsing around grounds to watch teams. I have a passing interest in and have many fond memories of weird and wonderful locations, getting overly familiar with the likes of Scunthorpe, Southend and Sunderland, amongst other British locations that don’t begin with S.

As a brief bit of context, house keeping, while counting myself as a Manchester City and Curzon Ashton fan, I went to university down in Devon, and lived behind St James Park in Exeter. Cheap tickets for students and a bit of a babyface meaning we could get the odd childs ticket led to me and a handful of friends watching the Grecians quite often, and usually lose.

I hadn’t ever watched Exeter play away while I was at University, the prohibitive cost of travelling to grounds, other teams not honouring cheap ticket offers to students and generally being far too lazy to organise anything of the sort prevented us from ever getting round to it. However a decade after leaving our flat behind the ground, myself and an old friend were both at a loose end on a Saturday, and Exeter was playing at Morecambe.

A fairly short hop from Manchester this seemed too good an opportunity to turn down. So off we headed to the Great British seaside on a sunny August afternoon, and it was wonderful.

By some sort of strange coincidence, we managed to turn up on the same day as an airshow of sorts, a military flyover does add to a sense of occasion. Finding several cheap pubs where the rounds will remind you that you aren’t in the Northern Quarter any more, in the very best of ways, with a few local characters, and an inordinate amount of bikers.

The most important part of any away day, or indeed a day for myself, is sniffing out a decent amount of carbohydrates, and the perk of a seaside away day is more chip shops than even I can sample in 5 hour period.

Morecambe’s ground is a short walk from town and there is a pub in the carpark, which doesn’t have a “no away fans” rule.

Exeter fans themselves travel, and travel well. Exeter is ages away from everywhere, there are no near away games so there is a bit of a “may as well” attitude. If it’s going to take you three hours to get to Birmingham, what’s another couple to Lancashire. The turnout was huge, with nearly as many away fans as home fans and the away end in fantastic voice the whole way through with the added bonus of a stag doo (more on them later).

The Grecians utterly outplayed Morecambe, and a few basic errors by the home side, including a goal kick that instead of going upfield was just booted sideways into the stands further added to the atmosphere. Early season optimism, winning, and beautiful weather are an excellent combination for a good day away.

The half time entertainment at this level is always bizarre too and involves the mass embarrassment of school-aged children. Not quite as good as the half time entertainment I once saw where the aim was genuinely to kick a ball into a shed to win a shed, but enough mockery to keep it entertaining, and a pretty reasonably priced bar too.

Then in the second half, with Exeter winning and the game starting to wind down, the ball was kicked out of play and landed at the feet of the stag do (remember them…) and they refused to give the ball back to the players. Cue something I’d never seen before, in both sets of players and a lot of Exeter fans kicking off at some men in pink fluffy cowboy hats to the extent the stewards got involved.

Never change, League Two, never change.

If the list of away grounds you have visited extends to Stamford Bridge, Anfield and Old Trafford then I insist you head off to a ground in the football leagues, you’ll leave with a few stories to tell, and maybe a shed.