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26 December 2020 Venue Boundary Park Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Latics vs. Harrogate Town

Sky Bet League Two - Matchday 20

24 December 2020

Latics host Harrogate Town at Boundary Park in the Boxing Day fixture this weekend (3pm KO).

Harry Kewell’s men will be hoping they can replicate their incredible form on the road at home.

Last time out, Oldham went to table-topping Newport and came back from behind twice before winning the game 4-2 with two late strikes.


Latics are four points higher than their opposition going into the game.

Form Guide

League Two newcomers Harrogate Town are currently enduring a difficult run of form that has seen them lose five of their last six games.

Their impressive start to life in the football league means that they do still have a large gap of nine points from the bottom two.

Similarly to Latics, Town have fared better on the road in recent weeks with each of their previous three league wins coming away from home.

Town’s last six:

  1. Harrogate Town 0-1 Salford City
  2. Exeter City 1-2 Harrogate Town
  3. Morecambe 1-0 Harrogate Town
  4. Harrogate 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
  5. Harrogate Town 2-5 Scunthorpe United
  6. Harrogate Town 0-4 Blackpool (FA Cup)


This will be the first time the two clubs have met in a competitive fixture.

Team News

In terms of selection, Head Coach Harry Kewell still has a similar squad available. Danny Rowe is close to a return to the side, with defenders Andrea Badan and Kyle Jameson back in training after making a good recovery from their hamstring injuries.

George Blackwood is now having some more time on the sidelines after a setback in his recovery.

Interesting Info

With it being out first ever game against Harrogate, we take a look at how often we play a team for the first time. About once a year since 1997, especially including the cup. Before 1997 remarkably we went 17 years without playing a team for the first time, back to Wimbledon in 1980. 

1997 it was Wigan and Wycombe for the first time.
1998 Macclesfield
1999 Chelmsford (cup)
2000 Hednesford (cup) 
2002 Cheltenham (cup and league) and Burton.
2003 Rushden
2004 Thurrock (cup)
2005 Chasetown (cup) and Yeovil.
2006 Kettering and King’s Lynn (both cup).
2008 Morecambe
2010 Dagenham & Redbridge
2011 Stevenage
2012 Crawley
2014 Fleetwood
2016 AFC Wimbledon
2018 Forest Green, Hampton & Richmond (cup), and Maidstone (cup).
2019 Salford

  • In this time we’ve won 12 of these first time games, drawn seven and lost five.
  • Both teams have lost nine league game this season, with Latics scoring 13 more but conceding 12 more than Harrogate.
  • With the exception of an exceptional 2-1 win at Exeter, Town are on a poor run of four defeats in five, including a 2-5 at home against Scunthorpe.
  • Winning at Morecambe last year was Oldham's first Boxing Day win since 2008 (3-0 at Crewe). 
  • The club are also on four straight Boxing Day home defeats (2017 1-2 Fleetwood, 2014 1-2 Crewe, 2012 1-2 Doncaster and 2011 0-1 Hartlepool).
  • The last home win on Boxing Day was in 2005 (2-1 v Bradford).
  • The biggest Boxing Day win was 11-0 over Southport in 1962.
  • The overall record on Boxing Day is: P84 - W27 D21 L36, scored 131 and conceded 163.
  • With the average of conceding almost two goals a game on Boxing Day throughout the club's 125 history.

Watch Out For

Jack Muldoon has nine league goals to his name already this season.

Jack Muldoon.jpg

Muldoon has been somewhat of a journeyman in his playing career, but the forward seems to have found a home in Harrogate.

The 31-year-old played for a host of non-league teams before getting his first taste of the league when he signed for Rochdale.

After struggling to make an impact at Spotland, Muldoon went back to the National League and had spells with Lincoln City and AFC Fylde.

He signed for Town in June 2018 and has been a mainstay in the side ever since, including in last season’s promotion-winning season.

He has already demonstrated his ability to make the step up to this level with 9 goals in just 17 league appearances.

In The Dugout

Simon Weaver is the man in the dugout for the visitors.

Simon Weaver.jpg

The 43-year-old has been manager of Town since 2009.

This is Weaver’s first job in management and Harrogate Town has been transformed under his leadership. The club had been strugglers of the sixth tier but since they reached the National League for the first time in the club’s history and remarkably the football league not much later.

Match Officials

The man in charge of the game on Boxing Day is Ben Speedie.

Ben Speedie.jpg

The official has had 16 games this season, handing out 45 yellow cards and two red cards.

Speedie has never officiated a Latics fixture.

He will be assisted by Lisa Rashid and David Hunt, with Andy Haines as the Fourth Official.

Sky Bet Odds

Latics are 11/10 favourites to win the first competitive game between the two sides whilst Town are 9/4 to claim victory in the festive fixture.

The draw is priced at 12/5.

Please gamble responsibly by clicking here. For more information visit: 

How To Follow The Game

Because the game is classed as behind-closed-doors, supporters can tune into a live match stream with commentary available for all subscribers on iFollow Latics, as Roy Butterworth and Mike Leyland talk you through the action.

This match is available as a live stream for the fee of £10 by clicking here.


In the current environment, there is a greater dependence on match streaming than ever before. 

As a result iFollow generates one of the only revenue streams available to clubs through these financial challenges. 

Piracy - and illegal streaming of matches - does not only carry the risk of potential criminal action, but also has a greater financial impact on clubs while supporters are unable to attend matches. 

The EFL's campaign would like to not only convey the message that piracy is immoral and illegal, but that it is also financially damaging club's across the divisions.

For more information on the campaign and iFollow, click here.

Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

Visit the Live Match Centre to access form guides, live text commentary and live audio commentary

Oldham Athletic would like to make it clear that all fixtures are still strictly-behind-closed doors with spectators not being allowed entry.

Extensive guidelines are in place for the safety of officials and players whilst the events are taking place.

It is important you do not travel or attempt to visit Boundary Park on the day, especially with the new local restrictions in place.

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Match Reports

Latics 1-2 Harrogate Town

26 December 2020

On a cold Boxing Day, Latics taste defeat in their first-ever meeting with Harrogate Town.

The visitors brought their energetic festive spirit into the opening 15 minutes of this encounter with their non-stop pressing of the Latics backline, but they found Ian Lawlor in fine form to keep them at bay for the time being.

During this period, Lawlor managed to produce an impressive triple save in the first attack as George Thomson flicked a header towards his near post which he parried away, and then Connor Kirby powerfully struck goalwards and he beat it away before, finally, denying Jack Muldoon from close range.

However, after all their pressure, Simon Weaver’s side found themselves a goal behind in the 19th minute. Davis Keillor-Dunn raced into the area and went down after contact from a defender and the referee took his time before pointing to the spot. Latics’ leading marksman, Conor McAleny, stepped up to confidently place the penalty past James Belshaw and into the left-hand bottom corner.

Harrogate wasn’t behind for long as, just ten minutes later, Oldham maintained their record of no clean sheets in the league this season. The ball fell perfectly into the path of the dangerous Thomson and he had the composure to volley into the far bottom corner which left the Latics shot-stopper with no chance.

Just before the interval, things went from bad to worse for Harry Kewell, seeing his side get reduced to ten men as forward Bobby Grant had an aerial collision with Jake Lawlor inside the visitor’s half and Ben Speedie reached straight to his pocket to dismiss him.

With a man less, Kewell tried to adjust how his team set up, Sido Jombati and McAleny made way for Dylan Fage and Ben Garrity at half-time.

The Sulphurites had a golden opportunity to complete a comeback when Aaron Martin nodded the ball down to his striker partner Muldoon, but yards away from goal the former Rochdale man sliced his strike out for a goal-kick.

Everybody had their heart in their mouth when young midfield Kirby volleyed from the edge of the box and it bounced up as Lawlor lost his footing and slipped but to the relief of his team, he managed to do enough to keep the effort out.

In the 71st minute, Town found what went onto be the winner as Latics cleared a corner but the ball was delivered back into the box and landed at the feet of Thomson, who showed his class to control and fire his attempt into the far top corner from a tight angle on the right for his second of the game.

The boys in blue went in search of an equaliser, however, failed to create any clear-cut chances to find the goal which means it’s five straight home Boxing Day defeats on the bounce for Latics.

Oldham Athletic XI – I.Lawlor (GK), Clarke, Borthwick-Jackson, Jombati (Fage 46’), Piergianni ©, Keillor-Dunn (Barnett 82’), Grant (sent off), Ntambwe, McAleny (Garrity 46’), Bahamboula (Dearnley 66’), McCalmont (Whelan 82’).

Subs – Bilboe (GK), Hamer.

Goals: McAleny 19’

Harrogate Town XI – Belshaw (GK), Fallowfield, Burrell ©, Thomson, Martin, J.Lawlor, Kiernan, Kirby (Falkingham 72’) Muldoon, Hall, Francis (Kerry 90’).

Subs – Cracknell (GK), Stead, Miller, Lokko.

Goals: Thomson 29’, 71’

Referee – Ben Speedie

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