After the rare treat that is back-to-back home games (no, the Papa John’s Trophy doesn’t count), Boro’ are going out on the road again; to Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park. We can make a song and dance about how long it’s been. But the truth is that it’s only six-and-a-bit months since we were there. It’d be good to do now what we did in April, however. At the very least, it’d flesh out what has been a positive enough October just that little bit more.
Oldham Athletic v Stevenage
Boundary Park, Oldham — 16 October 2021 — Sky Bet League Two
So, let’s go back to April for a moment; Scott Cuthbert an unlikely hero as Boro’ came out on top on Good Friday 2 April by a single goal. It was also part two of our double against the Latics last year. Our 3-0 victory on 19 September 2020 was a fine result in itself. More significantly, though, was the fact it was the first time we’d won indoors for 329 days. Can you imagine going almost a year without a home win? Actually, don’t answer that. We lived that hell recently enough as it is.
Boro’ only managed one game against the Latics during the aborted 2019-20 campaign; our 0-0 home draw on 14 January 2020 inspiring us to write absolutely nothing about the match itself.
The season before, we’d picked up four points at their expense. A Kurtis Guthrie goal earned us one point at Boundary Park on 2 March 2019, which was one point gained considering the goal came in the 91st minute. But the main event came at the Lamex on 3 November 2018 when we had Danny Newton’s 81st minute goal to thank for securing a 3-2 win (after being 2-1 down).
League One meetings
This is the third season in which we’ve met the Latics in League Two. Before that, we spent three campaigns together in League One. So, two three-season bursts now. Who’s on their way out of the division this year then?
Anyway, a 1-1 draw at Boundary Park on 10 September 2011 is the outcome of Boro’s first-ever meeting with the Latics. In the return fixture on 13 March 2012, Lawrie Wilson notched the only goal in a 1-0 home win. After that, we doubled down on our advantage and beat them 1-0 on the road in the early stages of the 2012-3 campaign. Things were good during that period. But Gary Smith’s side couldn’t make it last.
By the time we reconvened at ours on 19 February 2013, we were on the massive slide. And the Latics dragged themselves from behind to claim all three points; hammering another nail into a Smiffy-shaped coffin. Things didn’t get better the following year under GW either. In what you’d described as a ‘manic’ season opener, the Latics edged us out by the odd goal in seven; a game we fondly remember for the need to take Lee Hills off after 15 minutes to avoid a second yellow.
We lost 1-0 at Boundary Park later that season; our 11 January 2014 date starting to give some definition to the writing that was on the wall for our time in League One.
As for today? Well – things aren’t pretty at Oldham right now. Together with Scunthorpe United, they prop up the table. Don’t let that fool you, however. The form on the pitch isn’t a total write-off for the Latics. And they might well see the visit of Boro’ as an opportunity to bag some much-needed points. For us, however, it’s a chance to heap more misery on them. And performances in recent weeks should give us every confidence (you’d hope) of doing so…