An old ham reports from Oldham…..
Oldham, we had a problem. Too many people wanted to travel for one coach, not enough for two. So ever resourceful Travel Ken solved the problem by hiring a mini bus and driving it himself (and on the way giving his customers a Magical Mystery Tour and visiting every Shell garage within 300 miles!). Oldham was our last away adventure of the 2012/13 League One season.
We ploughed up the M1 and cut left across the stunning M62 right across the south Moors. It was probably the best scenery seen since our trip the Carlisle. Yours truly travelled the first leg with Clarkes and second with TK. There was some great banter going on and it was brilliant to catch up with the one and only Mr Wiggy. We hadn’t seen him in a long while but he has been busy and has a little one on the way. Congratulations and good luck to him.
Travel Ken Tours- coming to a Shell Garage near you, soon!
We were in OIdham for 1.15pm and parked up in the unfeasibly massive car park. Most of the space had been created when one of the stadium sides had been knocked down. Now then, Boundary Park, where do your start ? From the car park it all looks a bit tired but on entering Rochdale Road end away fans are offered a brilliant view of the action. On reflection it really is one of the most traditional grounds we have been to this season. I started less than impressed but by the end it sort of grew on me. That said it’s not though a Ricoh!
Chairman Paul, vice Chair Matt, George and I shared a really lovely relaxed hour in the garden area of a bar near the ground. It was great to shoot the breeze in the warm sunshine.
Played out in probably the best weather since Doncaster away a dreary first half gave way to an entertaining 2nd half. The game exploded into life when the hosts took the lead with a thumping long range effort. Cue some wild celebration in the home pen next door, which seemed to have an average age of 13. With them pressing for a second we managed to get back onto level terms, though at that point Swindon were well on top so any slim play off chance was gone. After a long hard season there were some weary legs out there and it was no surprise when Oldham won with a last gasp header. The wild home celebrations spiled onto the pitch for five mins which had young George saying “what the hell!” I blame the carers.To be honest not many of us were too upset about the result. With all the work done earlier in the term it was a bonus that we could lose and it didn’t matter a jot !
On driving away from the ground there was an unsavoury incident which caused a delay to our journey. Not to dwell on it to much just wanted to congratulate Paul and our young Clarkes drivers Rachel and Andrew for handling things in a calm and professional manner.
Both vehicles made it safely back to base, the coach returning just after midnight. Well, that’s Reds on the Road done for another season. 23 away League One games seem to have flashed by. It didn’t look too good on 21st August when we were on the wrong end of a three nil reverse at Swindon but the team have turned it into an amazing adventure. Who would have predicted nine league wins on the road!
Words and pictures from Colin Bowman, CTSA Press