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Death of a (promotion) party

Are you relieved that I’m here to write the blog this week? Were you worried that I’d be unable to after being knocked all over the gaff in the Rocky then returning home from hospital to find that my house had been squatted by Chesterfield’s firm? Fear not, comrades. The only damage was a sticker on the lamp post outside ours. I should probably go and cover that up.

Last Saturday’s performance was everything that the Aldershot game wasn’t. We were right into them from the off and had 2 shots on target inside the first 3 minutes. Our positive, aggressive approach paid off early when Dallas sprinted into the box after making a great run, and, with the keeper rushing out, he was only going to do one thing and it wasn’t scoring from open play, the superb little shithouse. It was a clear pen, and the keeper should consider himself lucky that he wasn’t sent off. Norwood duly put it away and celebrated by staring out the Chesterfield fans. What a magnificent pair of bastards him and Dallas are.

We kept the pressure on, and the second goal was no more than we deserved. It was a lovely passing move right down the middle of the pitch (something we’ve not done nearly often enough this season), and a great finish by Gardner, who had a great game but loses respect for refusing to celebrate in front of the Spireite fans. Stare them all out like Norwood did, you coward.

Unfortunately, Chesterfield found it all too easy to go straight down the middle of the pitch and score, but our heads didn’t drop, and we had several good chances before half time. Dallas made another great run and drew a good save from their keeper, and Norwood must have been gutted to have not put away his header from Dallas’ cross.

It would have been lovely to have held out for all three points against the league leaders, and it was all the more frustrating that the equaliser came from a soft penalty which the referee didn’t look like he was going to award until the lino flagged for it. It was a clumsy challenge from Kitching, though, and you shouldn’t give the referee the opportunity to give the decision against you.

We still didn’t give up, though, which was heartening after Mellon rightly criticised the players’ mentality last week, and we could have won it at the death. Norwood was so furious at Hogan shooting instead of passing to him that he stormed out after the game and refused to collect his MOTM award (THIS IS NOT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED).

It was good to see several players drop to the pitch in disappointment at the final whistle. We should be gutted at not beating any team at home, even the league leaders. We’re Oldham Fucking Athletic.

The main question I have after last Saturday’s game, however, is: why on earth did one of the Athleticos have a broom that they kept waving in the air? Did they bring it into the ground with them? Did they rob it from one of the kiosks? Was it a comment on the cleanliness of the Rocky? Was it a call for us to play Sheron in the sweeper role? I need answers, lads.

Micky Mellon, like the players, was “disappointed, frustrated” after the game, which is exactly how it should be. He said that the players needed to do better in the “wee moments” and should have closed the game out at 2-0, and also expressed his frustration at the officials: “the referee, man!”. There were loads of positives to take from the game but he, like us, wants more.

Interestingly, Mellon also spoke about his ‘club of four’ strikers, something he emphatically reiterated in his presser during the week: “I’ve got four crackers, four cracking strikers, four beauties… We call them the club of four… I expect between the four of them to score us goals… I’ve got four guys that are there to pay the bills, score the goals, and they are doing.” So that’s deffo four strikers, then. Four. Absolutely not five. Four. Best of luck for the future, Alex, thanks for the memories and the W’s in the chat.

Finally, shout out to the club for continuing to be a beacon for all that is good in the world off the pitch and welcoming the March of the Day walk at Boundary Park last night. They walked from Bradford to Liverpool via 17 football grounds to raise money for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation. It’s a great cause and you can donate here.

Safe journey if you’re off to Dagenham today. Hopefully we’ll come out flying again and our Band of Shithouses (that’s got a well better ring to it than the Fab Four, hasn’t it?) will bag a few. Still everything (well, a play off place) to play for. KTMFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan.

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