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End of season
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Oldham Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 24/12/2003

WELL, after the postponement of last weekend's game with Wrexham, both the Town fans and players will be eager to make up for lost time and claim some much needed cheer on Boxing Day against managerless Oldham Athletic.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Oldham (h)

The Mariners play their first game in nearly two weeks on Boxing Day, where three points are almost essential if Town are to make the "big push" that we have all been hoping for. "Underachievers" "Inconsistent" and "Unpredictable" are the clichés that have been all to commonly heard around Blundell Park this season, and only the players can stop them ringing in their ears, by putting some results together.

The Opposition

At the end of last week, Iain Dowie, the ex-West Ham and Southampton manager who guided the Latics to the play-offs last season, left the cash-strapped club for First Division Crystal Palace. This meant that both John Sheridan and David Eyres (left), both players, were quickly installed as caretaker managers for the foreseeable future. What makes it all the more confusing is that Oldham have a Darren Sheridan and a John Eyre at the club! How bizarre! But the pair got the perfect start to life in football management last week when the Latics beat QPR 2-1 at Boundary Park to move them to within a point of the Mariners.

The Team
Many clubs in the lower leagues have been struggling financially, but few have had it worse than Oldham. Former boss Iain Dowie hardly had a penny to scrape together in the summer, which saw the loss of key players from last years play off side, with Wayne Andrews, Fitz Hall and Anthony Carrs. So, the Lancashire side have had to make the most of the loan system. Joining them for the second time this season is young Fulham defender Mark Hudson (left), who is in the first team at the moment.

Travelling in the squad, but likely to be on the bench is former loan player David Beharall (left). Another loan player in their ranks is Jamacian winger "cum" striker, Jermaine Johnson who has bags of pace to burn. He has already forged a decent partnership with (another) loan player, Calvin Zola who has been in exceptional form this season, with the 19-year-old banging in 6 goals. Providing the experience in the side is former Hull and Scunthorpe player John Eyre who can operate in the midfield or up front along with caretaker player/manager David Eyres, at the tender age of 39, still in fine form for the club.

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Top Scorers


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Team News



  • Town will make a quick check on top scorer Michael Boulding who has been ill this week. However, he is expected to be fit enough to play in the starting line up.

  • Jason Crowe will serve his suspension on Boxing Day, when if the match on Saturday was on, he would be available to play. He will also miss the next three games for his sending off.

  • Either Des Hamilton will replace the former Arsenal man, or Campbell will be moved to the centre with a recall for Dutchman Marcel Cas.

  • Elsewhere, Town will be unchanged from the side that drew at Bournemouth.
  • Oldham welcome back former Barnsley full back Darren Sheridan into their squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a fractured leg. He has had little match practice though, so it is unlikely he will be in the 16 for the game.

  • There have been no new injury worries for the Latics, which means that they will stick with the side and 3-5-2 formation that saw off QPR last week.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Aidan Davison
    John McDermott
    Darren Barnard
    Tony Crane
    Mike Edwards
    Stuart Campbell
    Phil Jevons
    Alan Pouton
    Des Hamilton
    Mike Boulding
    Iffy Onoura
    Les Pogliacomi
    Michael Clegg
    Mark Hudson
    Will Haining
    Adam Griffin
    David Eyres
    Ernest Cooksey
    John Eyre
    Paul Murray
    Jermaine Johnson
    Calvin Zola



    Marcel Cas
    Paul Groves
    Darren Mansaram
    Iain Anderson
    Greg Young
    Danny Boshell
    David Beharall
    Scott Vernon
    Kieren Westwood
    Carlos Roca


    Ex-Town legend Kevin Moore (left), who was an integral part of the Mariners success in the late 70s and early 80splayed for Oldham after he was sold by then manager, Mike Lyons in 1986. After clocking up over 400 appearances for Town, he lasted just over 5 months with the Latics, before a £125,000 fee saw him join Chris Nicholl at Southampton.

    One current Oldham player who played for Town of course is David Beharall who made 13 appearances for the Mariners in the 2001/02 season under Lennie Lawrence. Ex-Blackburn defender Marlon Broomes was preferred to Beharall, who had a loan spell with Oldham before sealing a £150,000 move to the Latics.

    Last Time Out

    The last time Town met Oldham was back in 1998, in Towns last league game of the season at Blundell Park (barring the play off game with Fulham). A 8,000 strong crowd turned up to see the Mariners parade the Auto Windscreens Shield, but it was somewhat of an anti-climax with Oldham spoiling the show with a 2-0 win. Veteran Ronnie Jepson got a brace, whilst Bruce Grobbelaar was between the posts for Oldham.

    Town Team: Davison, McDermott, Gallimore (Black, 61), Handyside (Jobling, 75), Lever, Burnett, Donovan, David Smith, Lester (Clare, 61), Livingstone, Groves.

    Oldham Team: Grobbelaar, McNiven, Serrant, Innes (Holt, 89), Graham, Redmond, Clitheroe (McNiven, 80), Rickers, Jepson (Garnett, 84), Allott, Reid
    Goals: Jepson (67, 71)

    Attendance: 8,054

    Oldham Head-to-Head (34th on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: 1-0 to the Mariners. Pouton to score. Reader's POMs


    Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park (left).

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