After a 36 year wait, five minutes was all that the fans got.
On the 16th February 1974, Oldham supporters departed Spotland with a 3-1 victory as their side headed to the Division Three title and their rivals headed to relegation. They have not returned for a league fixture since.
This time they left sodden after the referee abandoned their meeting with Rochdale, due to “adverse weather conditions” (waterlogged pitch in old money).
It was a soggy end to a night that both sets of supporters had been looking forward to since the fixture lists were released.
Paul Dickov suggested that the decision was a correct one, but made too late. The referee obviously took the locality of the two towns into consideration by leaving the decision as late as possible, but the gamble didn’t really pay off.
Despite the lush playing surface, puddles lay just underneath and the ball stopped dead with alarming frequency. Both sides were almost caught out by the conditions as passes back to the goalkeeper halted in the growing puddles, allowing Anthony Elding and Ritchie Jones to almost capitalise.
Deliberation between the referee and both managers followed before the decision was made to call the game off. The new date for the match will be announced on Monday 8th November.
Oldham fans will finally get their taste of a Lancashire derby this week after all- if the weather permits it.
The FA Cup first round sees the Latics take on Accrington Stanley as they look to put together a cup run.
The visit to the Crown Ground will be Oldham’s first in the FA Cup and represents an excellent chance to progress in the competition with a tie against League Two opposition.
Accrington were the 2-1 victors the last time the two met in the Johnstones’ Paint Trophy last year and Latics fans will be looking for a better result this time around.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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