Phil Yelland takes a closer look at our Boundary Park record ahead of this weekend's League Two encounter.
Saturday sees us make our first weekend visit to Boundary Park since November 2002 when we travelled there for a tie in the FA Cup First Round We were in the UniBond Premier Division at the time, whilst the Latics were in the third tier. We made a sensational start thanks to Steve Housham’s second-minute goal and, whilst Scott Duxbury levelled for the home side, we thoroughly earned our replay backed by a large and noisy band of travelling fans. Sadly, we lost the replay 1-0 on home soil.
Of course, last season we travelled there in late February, with Rob Kelly in caretaker charge after the departure of Michael Jolley. Scott Quigley’s late goal provided us with three precious points.
Our first ever visit to Oldham took place in March 1905 when we met them in the Second Division of the Lancashire Combination. We won 2-1 with goals from Lucas and Bill Eccleston.
Over the years, our record at Boundary Park had been poor with only nine wins and four draws in 37 visits. Our last win prior to February came in August 1969 in Division Three when we won 1-0 with Mick Hartland finding the net. We completed the double at Holker Street a couple of months later when two Howard Riley goals helped us to win 2-1 as, with Colin Appleton in charge, we briefly climbed to the top of the table.
Before that 1969 win at Boundary Park, we had endured a miserable time when visiting as between 1958 and 1967 we lost eight successive games, conceding 19 goals on the way.
Our best win on Oldham turf came in Division Three North in August 1949 when goals from Johnny Leach, Eddie Miller and a Bell own goal gave us a 3-1 triumph. We followed that the next season with a win thanks to a George King goal.
By contrast, our worst defeat at Oldham came in the North West Regional League in May 1940 as football continued in war time. We lost 8-2 with goals from Jimmy Cargill and Richard McIntosh scant consolation in a hammering. We got revenge three months later at Holker Street when we won 5-1, with Cargill again amongst the scorers.
We have played out just two games without a goal at Boundary Park and the last of those came in the 1945/46 season.
Let’s hope Mark Cooper’s side can follow the pattern of the early 1950s and make it two wins in a row.