An early start from Kent, for my
daughter and I. But there was plenty of
anticipation, as given recent form there was
every chance that Preston would get
something from the match, and the reviews of
the ground meant that there was plenty to
look forward to. After a brief detour to the
Croydon area to collect two colleagues, the
journey by car continued smoothly with no
delays apart from a brief spell of
stop/start as is usual on the Cheshire gap
on the M6.
Once I had accessed the M60, the ground was
located very easily by exiting the
Manchester Orbital at the junction for
Chadderton and thence following signs
towards Rochdale. Just before reaching the
start of the A627(M) we spied the
traditional looking floodlight
pylons to our right and homed in on them.
Parking was a doddle, on a large area of
hard standing next to the ground for £4, and
as we had arrived early there was no queue
to get near either.
As the guide indicates, Boundary Park is a 3
sided affair, which whilst looking odd, it
does from the outside, give you an early
glimpse of those rows of empty seats soon to
be filled for a derby match. and my senses
of anticipation were only heightened at such
a sight, complete with those lovely old
Another excellent plus of the set-up at
Boundary Park is the away seating being
the early bird catches that worm of getting
seats that afford good views, with an aisle
seat for the little-one so she can still see
most of the action even when all and sundry
suddenly stand up.
Sadly, from that point, it went downhill;
the much praised pies that I was looking
forward too? Well when I went to source food
well before half-time I was told that they
had run out of ALL hot food completely,
which I thought was
pretty poor planning and catering. Some of
the stewarding seemed banal, with one
individual at one point insisting that my 8
year old daughter actually sat down. To keep
the peace we co-operated, but it seemed
utterly daft to pick on a child who wasn't
obstructing any-ones views, when there were
some 800+ of our more "yobbish" support
jumping up and down to our right.
The fayre on the pitch was decidedly poor
too, although we would be slightly biased as
we got hammered by a 3-1 score-line that
flattered us, especially as our goal
'ghosted' in at pretty much the last dying
embers of the game.
Atmosphere too was pretty disappointing; I
was expecting more 'banter', but the home
fans only found any voice at all after their
second goal went in.
At the final whistle we headed for our car,
and joined the queue to get out of the
narrow exit, which was to be expected, but
once clear and on the open road, we sailed
out of town with ease.
Not the happiest of days.
Oldham hadn't won any match at home all
season, till Preston turned up and happily
obliged with a very lacklustre performance
indeed. Coupled with the shabby catering,
less than family-friendly stewarding, and
less of an atmosphere than might have been
expected left a disappointing taste in the
Overall though, we had a good chinwag in the
car up and down. Just a shame about the 90
minutes in the middle of the day!