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The North Will Rise Again

Still undefeated under Thompson, and if you'd offered us 11 points from 15 a few weeks ago, we'd have snapped your hand off. It's still disappointing that the post Unsworth bounce has gone flat, though.

Congratulations to part-time Southern-leisure-centre-based outfit Wealdstone on maintaining their unbeaten record against the biggest club they've ever played. It didn't sound like we missed much while we were 120 metres underground in Kraków.

From the highlights, it was good to see Green full of confidence and shooting from distance again. Our defending looked crap for their disallowed goal, but Reid showed killer instinct again to pounce when Ferguson gave the ball away in the centre circle, putting a defender on his arse before burying it. Boom.

It didn't last, unfortunately, and Hudson possibly could have done better for the equaliser. Despite the defensive frailties for both the disallowed Wealdstone goal and the one that stood, Thompson felt that we "defended manfully". Roy said that during the Kidderminster game as well. I wish they'd stop it. It sounds like something Barry Owen would tweet at 2am. Thompson also said "I don't like sitting back", which is good to hear, and I'd like to see a lot less of us sitting too deep.

One big bonus at Wealdstone was Lundstram finally making his competitive debut. Thompson was full of praise for him, saying he's an all round player who can drive forward in the middle and can play "a 6, an 8, a 10". I can't be arsed getting into the debate about what the number 6 position actually is, but it's good to finally have Lundstram in the team.

We planned our flight home to be back in time for Maidenhead at home on Tuesday, and I had very high hopes that we'd win comfortably, which proved to be misplaced. We started brightly, and Dickenson and Green were superb again, causing problems down both wings and neither of them were shy of having a shot. Kitching and Reid continue to be a great double act both on and off the pitch, Kitching putting a great ball into the box for Reid to put us 1-0 up. It felt like his header took about half an hour to cross the line.

With all the possession and dominance we had, we could and should have been out of sight by half time. Norwood (who was pretty ineffective on Tuesday to be brutally honest) missed a sitter with only the keeper to beat after a great cross in by Sutton, who I thought was MOTM. Reid was unlucky to not get a second when he hit the post with a header from a tight angle shortly before half time.

You had a horrible feeling that missing those chances would cost us, and it was the proverbial clichéd game of two halves. We sat far too deep in the second half, and as Thompson said after the game, "we never got up the pitch, it never stuck up top". Shelton and Sheron still don't look convincing together, although that's no excuse for booing Shelton when he was subbed on. It's dickhead behaviour. Pack it in.

The equaliser was a long time coming, and it was a cracking finish to be fair. It was pretty gutting, though. I know we've got no divine right to beat teams like Wealdstone and Maidenhead, but it's really disappointing to have dropped points against all three of the part-time teams in the division. We need to do better. We're Oldham fucking Athletic, for fuck's sake. 1-1 at home to Maidenhead, no wine or spirits in the Rocky, and one of the ball boys had a top knot. Come on. We're better than this.

We move on. Thompson promised on Tuesday that the players won't need lifting for today, and I hope he's right. We'll have more of an idea by 5pm about how good a job Thompson and Redfearn are doing, whether the unbeaten run is down to their coaching, or whether the initial improvement was just down to Unsworth and Ebbrell leaving. I hope it's the former. I also hope that the board don't even consider appointing the manager who just left Bradford. (Darren, if you're reading this - and I know you are - I will smash the place up if you appoint Hughes, and I will not be short of help.)

We're two points off the playoffs. Fucking bring it. KTMFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photos by Thomas Lee Stacey.

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