Where's The Tea Hut reflects upon local football South West style with a few trips further afield. Keep the faith & stay safe.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Oldham Boro

Saturday 1st October
North West Counties League Challenge Cup 1st Round
Attendance: 24 (10 more came in when the gateman left)
Admission: £5
Programme: £1.50 (An insult to match publications, rip off)
Tea Hut purchase: Frugal Glenn braved a cuppa soup at 90p
Weather: Bloody hot
Parking: On the street next to the car park
Oh dear! Apart from the plate of sausage and mash I had for my dinner before setting off, my match day afternoon was not very good, at all! The Match Shed had to battle with the usual batch of women drivers as they struggled to work out what to do at a roundabout and the temperature rose steadily to the point that it became nothing but uncomfortable. En-route to the Whitebank Stadium I briefed Frugal Glenn on the history of Oldham Boro and that they ground shared with Oldham Roughyeds Rugby League Club. Boro's opponents today in the first round of the North West Counties League Challenge Cup were Rochdale Town, local rivals from 6 miles down the road.
My background summary included reference to the fact that both sides had been doing a bit better than expected this season, so with it being a cup tie and a local derby we could be in for a good afternoons entertainment, how wrong could I be? It was bloody awful, and I mean AWFUL! Lets take it in order (some moans and groans being bigger than others), they charged 5 quid to get in when the standard in this division is £4, only a pound difference I know... but 20% more expensive than it should be. Next up is the match programme (if you are kind enough to call it that), I handed over £1.50 for nothing but a few pages of adverts, ground regulations and some bobbins about codes of conduct, there weren't even any fixtures, results or league tables, shocking!
An absolutely pants publication that was an insult to football programmes, to charge more than 20p for a match programme 'which had' very little match related content was scandalous. Perhaps a more serious problem to note was something which will doubtless effect every game played at this stadium, I'm talking about the pitch! It was in a terrible condition and its still the start of the season. Its badly rutted, grossly uneven and a nice crop of weeds are making a nice new home for themselves. This means any kind of ball control or even basic passing are items of a scarce rarity.
Obviously the pitch has been used by the Oldham Rugby League team during their summer season but for goodness sake, surely it can be given a bit of basic attention to simply flatten out the worst bits and get rid of some of the weeds. I would hate to come here every other week and suffer players struggling to play football on a ridiculous surface. This leads onto the game itself. I'm not exaggerating when I honestly state I cannot remember seeing a worse football match than what I stood and watched today, Frugal Glenn said the same, he wanted to go home early in the second half it was that bad.
The first half was pure rubbish with zero skill, zero quality and very little strategy or control, I'd seen much better boozy pub games on a Sunday morning than this trash. No wonder half time arrived with a 0-0 scoreline. Rochdale Town at least had a go at playing a bit of football in the second half but the pitch was getting the better of everybody (the photographs don't do it justice).
It was 75 minutes before either side managed a clear (on-target) attempt on goal. Oldham chased a random hoof upfield, the Rochdale keeper for some strange reason let it gently bounce over his head and one of the forwards following up tapped it into the empty net, a fitting goal to compliment this cup tie from hell. When Boro got another 2 goals in quick succession me and Frugal jumped for joy, we now knew for sure there wouldn't be any extra time. Frugals best moment of his (vowed) once only visit to the Whitebank Stadium had been his half time tomato cuppa soup in a proper cup.
Mine had been pre-match when I'd been lucky enough to be the first person in the single chemical toilet. What a shocker of an afternoon and thats despite the unseasonal wall to wall sunshine, such a change from last Monday night when I'd seen a cracker of a match between New Mills and Salford City.


Paul Kirkwood said...

Like the line re the chemical toilet. Must've been bad! You should've been at an FA Cup tie!

Anonymous said...

the pitch wont be rolled as that would mean the rugby club helping out the football and they dont want them there despite what is said by their chairman, so playing quality football is completley out of the question...coupled with the rugby wanting £120+ a game to play there, and being a shared gate anywonder its £ for 10 extra people coming in after 3:10 i doubt that as the club secretary wouldnt let that happen as when the gateman leaves the door is locked and the only way in is through the main gate and when thats opened you can hear it from the other end of the ground. and he stands feet away from it with his back to it. Anyway atleast its another ground ticked off and you never need attened another one.

Uwdi Krugg said...

I fully sympathise with Boro's predicament regarding an unscrupulous landlord but its simply not-on to immediately pass on 'overhead' costs to the paying spectator, especially in a deepening recession. I notice your reply made no reference to the rip-off programme which was nothing more than daylight robbery to be perfectly honest. All clubs need to give more thought and planning to provide value for money in this day and age. To keep hitting the spectator as a first option is unfair and will soon end up with less people making the effort to go to the game. People become more choosy with the diminishing amount of disposable income, it is totally naive for Boro to presume the policy of charging-more-for-less will afford any lasting profit (whether its from no-brainer groundhoppers like me or local supporters). By the way, I've never been one for keeping a little book full of ticks but you're entitled to your opinion (same as me).

Anonymous said...

to be honest i dont know what im trying to achieve by replying i guess its just out of politness really, i agree with what your saying but boro have limited outlets for making money and due to that are unable to pass savings onto the fans, trust me boro wish it wasnt the for the programme i didnt see the rochdale one, but i can assure you it does usually have updated league table, fixtures, team sheets/player profiles and other articles ala the last programme i got was boro vs wigan robin park fa vase and i honestly would say it was a good read...all i can suggest is getting in contact with the club and expressing your disapointment im sure they would love to hear from you as the guys are proud and hearing comments like this will do there pride no good and im sure they will rectify any problems you raise. all the bet or the future. chris.

Uwdi Krugg said...

Thanks for the background Chris. I've no grudge whatsoever with Oldham Boro. I just get sick of paying out hard earned cash for rubbish programmes (I like collecting them for the games I attend so I pay the piper). Take it from me (honestly) the Oldham Boro programme for the Rochdale Town game was a complete 'Dog'!

Chris said...

Found this whilst researching Oldham Boro, have had a look around the site there's some great stuff! Shame you didn't see New Mills in the day - the views are fantastic. Would like to know how the Oldham Boro programme compares to one I got at Flixton earlier this season... at least yours has a proper front cover! Flixton was just 7 pages of A4 paper consisting of a few faded screenshots off the web. Next to no content - no league tables, fixtures, results etc. Was only a quid though!

Anonymous said...

Since your review, Oldham Boro FC have introduced several changes to their match programme including reducing the price to £1. The new edition now includes 16 pages and features match photos, manager's notes, complete statistics and a different cover for each game. With regards to the maintenance of the pitch, Boro are in negotiations with both the council and the rugby club to rectify the problems.