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Just can't wait to get on the road again

For any normal club in our position, two back-to-back home games in a week would be something to look forward to, a great opportunity to gain ground in the race for the play offs. This is Oldham Athletic, though. We do things differently here. It was more “please don’t get absolutely humiliated again, if the booing gets any louder it’ll threaten to disturb the foundations of my house”.


The Southend game, while undoubtedly an improvement on the Kidderminster game (don’t say “It couldn’t have been any worse", it can ALWAYS be worse), was another frustrating one. Losing Green in the first half was a huge blow. It seems all the more unfair for him to get injured just when Mellon had finally realised that we play better when he starts. Thankfully it sounds like it wasn’t as bad as it looked at first, and he should be back in four to six weeks.


There were vicious rumours that Sheron missed a sitter at the end of the first half. You’ll be stunned to hear that I was at the bar and didn’t see it at the time, but having seen it on the highlights, it wasn’t the easiest shot on the volley facing away from goal and it was a good save by their keeper.


In any case, Sir Nathaniel Sheron made amends in the second half. Norwood made an immediate impact on his return, heading the ball on a minute after coming on as a sub for the National League Kevin de Bruyne to bury it.


We looked more dangerous and aggressive after Norwood came on and I really hoped we’d kick on. Hammond – who made a nuisance of himself again – should have put us 2-0 up but seemed to freeze with only the keeper to beat, and I’m not sure why everyone isn’t going on about that being the miss of the match. With tedious predictability, we couldn’t see the game out, we failed to clear our lines and we got punished for it. Yet another disappointing finish after a decent performance.


If it hadn’t been for the Kidderminster farce, a point and a clean sheet against the team 3rd in the league would have been a good result. I guess we still shouldn’t be too disappointed with it. It was an improved performance again, with Sachdev in particular looking impressive, showing great pace and putting crosses into the box quicker than we have been doing in recent games. Hudson didn’t put a foot (or should I say glove?) wrong all game, and we passed it about well with more intent. We just didn’t seem to be able to take our chances.


As was to be expected, Bromley had some good chances as well, and Sachdev made a great block in the second half when Whiteley was in a great position to shoot in the box. I suppose we should see it as a point gained, and as Mellon pointed out after the game, “we’ve gone up a place, haven’t we? With a 0-0 draw? There we go, eh? Wahey!” The ‘wahey!’ was as sarcastic as it should have been, though. We’re overdue a thumping win at home, and I can’t bring myself to celebrate the mighty Oldham Athletic drawing at home to Bromley.


It is what it is, and we are where we are, though. The grim reality is that we are currently the 5th best team in the 5th tier of English football, and it could be a lot worse, considering where we were. As Joshua Jones pointed out on Twitter, we were in the relegation zone in September. We’ve only lost twice in the league this year (let’s not dwell on the FA Trophy), we’ve won 7 of our last 9 away games, we’re unbeaten away since November, and we’re accruing our most points per game since 2003. God, it’d be nice if we could show a bit of our away form at home, though.


To Aldershot today, then, where the capacity is just 7100, so exactly the kind of Southern Wee Guys ground where our players tend to thrive. And let’s not forget that even David Unsworth managed to get us to beat them 5-1 at our place. I’ll shut up before I jinx it any further. Safe journey if you’re going. KTMFF.


Written by Arlene Finnigan

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