Oldham. Newham. Whatever.

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Zippy and GeorgeBefore we stuck into this preview, there is quite possibly a horsemeat-meets-old-ham joke to be had somewhere, but we lack the humorous edge and dexterity of wit so badly needed to execute the gag. Therefore, you can take this as an attempt to get it out of our system so we can get serious with the pre-match patter and a whimsical discussion of our hopes, and indeed our fears, for tonight’s top billing in Stevenage.

Oldham then. One of the relatively many plucky Football League underlings still in the FA Cup. Hence this game being delayed from Saturday. And we must praise their character in reliving past glories with that 94th minute equaliser against Everton. Remember when the pairing of Latics and Toffees was a relegation encounter in the Premier League? You know, when we were Conference newbies. History is funny.

Gary Smith needs his team to win tonight. Not because we’re as ridiculous to suggest Boro’ are flying upside down with a drunk Denzel Washington at the controls (although he *did* land the plane), but because last week’s insipid performance at Brentford and dropping of Captain Mark Roberts needs replacing in the memory by a glorious thrashing of those who enter the Stevenage lair at the Lamex Stadium.

We expect Robbo to start tonight, probably at the expense of Darius Charles. We’re not too sure whether we expect Steve Our Lord to be recalled to the sticks. After all, Daisy couldn’t be said to have done wrong at Peter Griffin Park last week. And we’d like to see Dunne and Beleck starting; the latter impressing amid the gloom at Brentford and the former, well, an answer to at least two questions. Like “who’ll play central midfield”.

Now, for all intents and porpoises, we don’t care how we wrap up the points – as long as we do. You might disagree with us. That’s because you might actually be going to the match. It doesn’t matter so much when you’re watching Gillette Soccer Special and wondering which of the inane panellists is blagging a media career the most. We just want the win. The finer details can wait. Forwards. Not backwards. Upwards. Not forwards.

FIFA 13 Verdict:
New controller arrived. Not been able to fulfil our duties though. Sad face.

Bookmakers’ Verdict:
It has come to a point when predicting a Boro’ home win has become financially rewarding and the 29/20 at BetVictor is testament to that. And if you’re brave enough to call over 2.5 goals, you can get Evens in places. But neither team has scored more than one goal against t’other before now. And finally, Matt Smith is 5/2 with Skybet to score anytime. It’d make it five straight games in which he scored…  Everything correct when written!

Last Season:
Stevenage 1-0 Oldham Athletic

Team Tarot (4-4-2):
Alan Rickman as Hans GruberDay
Gray
Chorley
Roberts (c)
Comminges
Akins
Dunne
Tansey
Freeman
Beleck
Hoskins

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