Away Days - Oldham Athletic

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- The Game -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Oldham vs PNE
Competition: NPower League One
Ground: Boundary Park
Date: Saturday 21st April 2012
Kick off: 3pm
Final Result: 1-1 Holroyd

First Impressions

We had played Oldham in a friendly a couple of years ago which I opted to skip, but this time we were both in the same league and I couldn't pass on the opportunity to make the short trip down from Preston.

Since its now impossible to get to Oldham by train due to the Metrolink extension, I had to get the bus from Manchester Piccadilly. It was quite a long journey by bus, taking half an hour to get to Oldham. I had some idea where to get off but there just so happened to be another North End fan on the bus so I ended up following him to the ground!

It was only a short walk to the ground from the bus stop and the first glimpses I got of the ground were of the floodlights. I have to admit it was a pleasurable sight to see some proper floodlights - sadly an all too rare sight nowadays.
After walking up from the bus stop, the first stand upon sight was the Chadderton Road End. This seemed a bit of an eyesore from the outside and seemed 'untidy' as were the turnstiles. Next to it was the Main Stand and this didn't look a tidy affair as I grasped when I walked round the ground.

Around the ground

I had quite a bit of time to kill despite the bus journey taking longer than expected, so after finding my bearings I headed on my usual walk around the ground. As said above, the Chadderton Road End and Main Stand looked a bit untidy and worse for wear. I have to admit from what I had seen so far I had not been very impressed (with the exception of the floodlights). The Main Stand generally looked like it hadn't seen much investment for many years with exception to the windows and club shop, where I headed to next.

Like a few of the club shops at some of the previous grounds I had visited, I wasn't impressed with this one either. They had a very limited range of goods - they had the usual stuff such as shirts, scarves etc but even that range had its limits. I had gone in with the intention of buying a fridge magnet (my experiences of this tell me only a few clubs stock them!) or failing that, a keyring but they didn't have that either! After a couple of minutes aimlessly wandering around, I gave up and headed outside to buy a programme.

There wasn't a great deal else to do so I headed round to the away end and took a couple of photos. The outside of this stand wasn't particularly impressive either. Because the ground is set into a hill, you actually enter the stand from the 'top' - a similar situation to that at Huddersfield. As I was saying, it wasn't particularly impressive as all there was apart from the block of turnstiles was blue fencing separating the concourse area from the 'outside'. With no roof over this bit it was lucky it wasn't raining!

After buying a bottle of Oasis from the catering bar I decided to go and take a seat - luckily some family friends were there so I was able to sit with them. A lot of the seats in the stand were covered in bird muck (never good!) but thankfully mine wasn't too bad.
Anyway, from my seat I was able to get a good view of the rest of the ground - to my left was the Main Stand which again seemed a bit of a messy affair with a bit of unused terracing either side of it and a hospitality box on the far side. Just like the outside, it seemed to be showing its age.
The Chadderton Road End seemed to be showing its age a little too looking a little the worse for wear and with a row of pillars running across it. Comparing these two stands to the away stand, it seemed we actually had the best view!
Lastly was the unused stand were the only remaining bit was a stretch of terracing. This previously had seating across it but I don't know it was used as a terrace before that. This was certainly the biggest eyesore at the ground and the empty space certainly helped the 'swirling' wind at the ground.

The Game

The game was another turgid affair - something I've come to expect of North End games! The first half didn't conjure up much - both sides had a couple of chances each and Oldham should've perhaps took their's better, but it was largely boring.

The second half wasn't much better either with neither side creating much. Eventually though, Oldham took the lead but thankfully it only lasted 10 minutes. Funnily enough, after having such a poor game it was Danny Mayor who set up our goal with a lovely cross to Holroyd who headed in his first goal for North End.

North End could've perhaps had a chance to win after a last 10 minutes of 'better football' but a draw was certainly a very fair result against 2 very poor sides. Overall, North End's performance was once against unacceptable but at least we had clinched safety.

The Stand

The stand certainly had its good and bad points, but firstly I'll start on the bad ones. The stand certainly wasn't pleasing to the eye from the outside and could perhaps do with a bit of an overhaul - not to difficult to implement but obviously money's a bit of a problem at Oldham like at most clubs nowadays. Secondly, the stand could do with a good clean as the amount of bird muck coated on the seats as well as the floor was disgusting.

Onto the positive side, the view from the stand is excellent. Unlike the opposite end, the view is completely unobstructed (always a plus point in my book) and perhaps unusual in that away fans get probably the best view (and probably facilities) in the whole ground (usually away fans are dumped in the worst part in some grounds).
Its possible to generate a good amount of noise from this stand, but I was only judging by the compact nature of the stand and the roof - on this occasion North End fans were understandably pretty quite apart from the odd couple of occasions.


It wasn't one of the greatest grounds I've ever visited but neither is it one of the worst. I think the main problem with the ground is a chronic lack of investment - only the Rochdale Road End has seen improvement (I think the stand was constructed between 1995 and 2000). The empty space on one side doesn't help, particularly as Boundary Park must be one of the coldest grounds in the country! Whilst most of the ground looks tired and scruffy, it could be massive improved with the addition of a new stand on the unused side at least.

Anyway, I wouldn't rank it as one of the best away days I've experienced due to the very poor game, but I was certainly happy to get another ground ticked off my list.


Appearance: 6/10
Game: 5/10
Enjoyment: 6/10
Fans: 8/10
Away Stand: 7/10

Overall: 6/10


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