21 April 2018

Latics @ AFC Wimbledon

This was a game that Oldham needed to win.  

I wheeled Pepé out of the garage and fitted up the TomTom with the amended route to AFC Wimbledon ready to rock.

Luckily after the hottest and driest day of the year (so far)  on Thursday  (temp up to 27°C) it was still dry and warm today.

With the forecast showing dry all day I pulled the Joe Rocket jacket from the wardrobe and back to Kevlar lined  cargo pants.

The road into Hythe was a mile long of traffic and so I went out through the country lanes to the motorway. It took a little longer as there were cyclists riding three a breast on a road barely wide enough for two cars to pass.

A bip on the horn had them scattered but hurling abuse. Had they met a car coming head on they might have been calling 999/911.

Once on the M20 I dialled up to an indicated 75mph that TomTom said was more like 70. TomTom was suggesting 90 minutes for the journey and it seemed to pass pretty easily. Even the M25 was relatively clear.

Arriving at the ground I followed a guy on a scooter and found the bike parking that eluded me last year. Hard standing. Nice.

The game itself was the old cliché. A game of two halves.  Wimbledon probably edged the first half and led 1-0 at half time. Their goal was a cross between pinball and statues as the Oldham defence seemed incapable of defending a corner.

In the second half a revitalised Oldham came out and equalised with a superb shot from outside the box. Chances came and a few saves kept it 1-1 until against the run of play Wimbledon scored again.
But even though they dice with relegation again Oldham kept pressuring and Nazon scored again from outside the box. 2-2.

Once the game was over we had to leave by one entrance and walk around the entire ground to get to the coaches for the fans going back to Oldham and for me to get to the bike.

Getting out wasn't too hard. TomTom was given free rein to get me home. We found our way to the A3 and eventually the M25. I called Claire through the Bluetooth link between TomTom and my phone. Just to say I was on my way.

I needed a comfort and hydration break at the service area on the M25.  Fuel here is a complete rip-off at around 17p a litre more than off-motorway stations.

A few miles later traffic was almost stopped for a horse box broken down.  Even though it was in the left lane of four; the other three lanes of rubberneckers were almost stationery. Then there was a  notice of a other holdup on the M26.

I decided rather than split lanes I'd go the longer way and take in Brands Hatch on the A20.   It seemed to take ages and in places the road surface is terrible. It was still a really nice evening when I got home to the more mundane task of taking the dog for a walk!!

Update May 15th 2018

With this game being a highlight of the last few, Oldham Athletic were relegated to the 4th tier of the English game and will play in League 2 next year.

There will be fewer chances for me to go to games as there are few southern clubs in mire and in that division.  The nearest being Crawley Town about 75 miles from home.

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