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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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06 August 2022 Venue Plainmoor Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Torquay United vs. Latics

6 August 2022

© Eddie Garvey

An exciting new era begins for Latics as they make the long journey South to take on Torquay United in their opening National League fixture.

Newfound positivity surrounds the curtain raiser following the long-anticipated takeover of the club which was completed in late July.

John Sheridan will be hoping his mostly newly assembled squad will be able to start as they mean to go on and start a successful promotion push to secure an immediate return to the Football League.

Pre-season

Sheridan will be hoping Latics are ready to go for the new campaign following no less than six pre-season kickabouts.

Latics have played a variety of sides at different levels in preparation for their maiden National League season.

A goalless draw at Bamber Bridge was followed by a home defeat to Sky Bet Championship side Wigan Athletic.

They also fell to defeats against National League North side Bradford Park Avenue and League Two outfit Mansfield Town before picking up their only win of pre-season away at Radcliffe, coming out 2-1 victors.

The pre-season action came to a close last Saturday at AFC Fylde with Latics losing out 2-1.

The hosts also had six games to try and get them up to scratch for the new season.

They enjoyed wins against Buckland Athletic, Exmouth Town, Exeter City and Truro whilst drawing with Newport County and losing heavily to Plymouth Argyle.

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The opposition

Latics know that their National League bow will not be a walk in the park as they come across an established side at this level.

Last season saw United finish 11th in the table eight points away from the final playoff spot but in the 2020/21 campaign they came close to securing a return to the Football League.

Finishing 2nd just four points away from the one and only automatic promotion spot, they would go on to lose the playoff final in the cruellest circumstances, losing out to Hartlepool United on penalties.

The Gulls have a host of new signings in a bid to boost their chances for the new campaign.

Head-to-Head

Meetings: 19

Latics wins: 7

Torquay United wins: 11

Draws: 11

This is the first time that the two clubs have met since April 2005 and you have to go back to 1991 for the last time that Oldham got the better of their Southern counterparts.

The last time they met, David Eyres’ first half strike gave Oldham the lead at Boundary Park, but this was cancelled out by Matt Hockley in the 41st minute and Adebayo Akinfenwa scored early on in the second half to secure the points for the visitors.

Torquay players celebrate.jpeg

Watch out for

Kieron Evans has joined up with Torquay United for the 2022/23 season following a loan deal from parent club Cardiff City.

The 20-year-old is renowned as being a very promising youngster at the Bluebirds which was shown by him breaking into the first team squad at the Championship club six times last term.

This is not his first outing on loan, he spent the final part of the last campaign with Linfield FC where he contributed to helping them secure Champions League football.

He will obviously be hoping to end his spell at Plainmoor in a similar vein of success.

In the dugout

Gary Johnson is the man in the dugout for the hosts.

Johnson, 66, has been the man at the helm at Plainmoor since September 2018 and made a huge impact from the off as he led them to the title in the National League South, securing promotion back to the National League in the process.

His fine work was rewarded with a new contract in July 2019.

He has spent the majority of his managerial career in the Football League with clubs such as Yeovil Town, Bristol City and Peterborough United.

Latics fans will be more familiar with Gary’s son Lee who began his managerial career at Boundary Park in 2013, making him the youngest manager in the Football League at just 31.

Gary Johnson Torquay.jpeg

A foot in both camps

There are a few past players that have represented both Latics and Torquay in some capacity.

Firstly, former Oldham boss Keith Curle played for and also had a brief spell as manager of the Gulls.

As a player, Curle spent four months as a United player, scoring five times in 16 games before moving back to his native city to join Bristol City.

He also managed them in 2007 but was unable to prevent their relegation and did not have his contract renewed in the aftermath.

Another name that may be recognisable to both sets of supporters is Rodney Jack.

The Caribbean born striker’s first venture into English football was with Torquay. He impressed so much during his time on the South coast that Kevin Keegan tried to take him to Newcastle to join him and his team of entertainers but unfortunately for the forward, the deal fell through due to problems with his work permit.

His time spent with Latics was less successful as he struggled with injuries, barely managing to reach double figures for appearances.

Odds

The hosts have been made favourites with Sky Bet for the season opener, currently priced at 13/10.

Latics are at the more generous price of 9/5 whilst the draw can be backed at 9/4.

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

Match officials

The man in the middle is Lee Collins.

He’ll be assisted by Sean Rothwell and Carl Peters, with Phillip Eddie as the Fourth Official.

How to follow the game

Live audio commentary is available on Latics Player, guiding you through the match.

For more information, visit the Latics Player page by clicking here.

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

Preview by Dan Wright

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Match Reports

Torquay United 0-0 Latics

6 August 2022

© Pinnacle Photo Agency

John Sheridan’s Latics started the 2022-23 season with an away-day point and a clean sheet at Torquay in an action-packed contest.

Mike Fondop made a real impact off the bench and twice almost nicked what would have been the winner, while Hallam Hope had the pick of the other chances.

Torquay, who hit the crossbar in the opening minutes, were mostly kept at arm’s length following their early flurry, and Latics were largely comfortable even after Dan Gardner’s late dismissal for a second yellow card.

Over 800 Latics fans gave superb backing throughout the game as new owners the Rothwell family looked on from the directors’ box.

Considering a new-look side which featured eight league debutants, the visitors acquitted themselves well in an occasionally attritional contest.

Torquay produced their best work in the first half and the home side almost found themselves ahead just four minutes in.

A free-kick from the left was knocked back across the box, but Will Goodwin saw his powerful effort come back off the underside of the bar before being scrambled away.

The same player was then denied by a strong hand from visiting keeper Magnus Norman away to his right as the hosts turned up the heat in scorching conditions.

But Latics hit back and themselves had a super opportunity to take the lead just before the quarter-hour. Jack Stobbs did well to rob a hesitating defender and managed to nudge the ball into the path of a wide-open Hope, but the striker couldn’t hit the target when one-on-one with the keeper.

The visitors almost quickly regretted that miss, but Norman bravely challenged Corie Andrews at close range and the Torquay man prodded wide, injuring himself in the process.

Nonetheless Latics continued to grow into the game, with Torquay keeper Mark Halstead forced to save smartly from Ben Tollitt and Chris Porter – making his second debut – in quick succession.

A Ryan Hanson free-kick from distance produced a routine save from Norman to round out an even first half where both sides will have felt they could have gone in ahead at the break.

Porter thought he’d notched his first goal of his second spell with the club just after the restart, but the frontman’s header from a deft free-kick dropped just wide while taking a deflection on the way.

The dangerous Tollitt followed up with a couple of half-chances, testing Halstead with a deflected effort before breaking deep from midfield but dragging a shot wide.

Fondop replaced Porter on the hour and was inches away from soon marking his introduction with the opening goal.

Jordan Clarke’s long free kick was nodded on by the striker, who took advantage of a rebound to get off a powerful half-volley from the edge of the box which flashed past the far post with Halstead completely beaten.

But the visitors were reduced to 10 men with a quarter-hour to play as Gardner was sent off for a second bookable offence – a trip on Dean Moxey as the Torquay man turned away from him.

That prompted Sheridan to look to bolster the defence with the introduction of Harrison McGahey in place of Tollitt, who will certainly be a threat this season.

Numerical parity was restored five minutes from the end as Ali Omar withdrew injured following an aerial clash with Fondop. The hosts had to take the hit having already used all three substitutes.

There was drama at the last as Fondop felt he was fouled by Halstead after whipping a loose ball away from the keeper – the referee unmoved despite voiciferous protests from visiting players and fans.

Junior Luamba was introduced for injury time in place of Hope in a final roll of the dice, and the youngster almost created the winner as he nodded down for Fondop to blast inches past the post.

It wasn’t quite to be – but Latics start their National League campaign with a solid point and a clean sheet to boot.

 

Oldham Athletic: Norman, Clarke, Hogan (C), Sheron, Francis-Angol, Stobbs, Gardner, Cooper, Tollitt (McGahey 79), Porter (Fondop, 60), Hope (Luamba, 90).

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Burgess.

Torquay United: Halstead, Moxey (C), Omar, Marshall, Crowe, Wyatt, Hanson, McGavin, Evans (Nathaniel-George 46), Andrews (Koszela, 18, [Hall 76]), Goodwin.

Subs Not Used: Lovett, Tomlinson.

Referee: Lee Collins

Attendance: 3,690 (827 away)

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Ticket News

Torquay (A) Ticket & Travel

3 August 2022

Ticket information for the away fixture at Plainmoor against Torquay United (Saturday 6 August - 3pm KO).

Tickets for the opening league game of the 2022/23 season are now on sale via the home club.

Please note that tickets sales are only available directly from the hosts, either online through their ticketing portal or by telephone.

The club has received an away allocation of 1,288. This  comprises the Wollens Away Terrace (standing - 1,050) and Block A of Bristow’s Bench (seating - 238).

To secure your ticket online, supporters should visit Torquay’s website here.

Please note that Torquay operate a cashless system, meaning tickets must be purchased before entering the turnstiles.

Away supporters are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance online. Tickets will then be sent to you via email and can either be presented at the turnstiles on your mobile device or printed out.

Please be aware there is a £2 surcharge for all tickets purchased on the day of the game.

 

Sales

To purchase a ticket online through the portal:

  • Follow this link for the specific fixture.
  • If you are not directed straight to the fixture, locate the match from the list and select 'Book Now'.
  • Once directed to the fixture, ensure the 'Away' option is displayed at the top of the page. If it does not appear automatically, select the 'Change to Away' option.
  • Choose either the Wollens Away Terrace (standing) or Bristow’s Bench, Block A (seating).
  • Select the relevant category of ticket. To purchase multiple tickets, the relevant category should be selected again or a further seat chosen before proceeding.
  • Select ‘View’ next to the basket option.
  • Then choose ‘Continue’ to complete your transaction at the checkout.

Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling 01803 328666 on Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm.

 

Tickets

Prices are as follows:

  Seating Standing
Adult £19 £17
Concessions (Over 65s) £17 £15
Under 18 £10 £10
Under 7 Free with a paying adult Free with a paying adult

Please note there is a £2 surcharge for tickets purchased on matchdays.

Disabled supporters are allowed one carer helper admitted free of charge. There are nine wheelchair bays and carers spaces, which are also available by selecting Bristow's Bench area on the ticketing portal.

For further details, please contract the Disability Liaison Officer, Jo Harris, by telephone on 01803328666, or by email to joanneh@torquayunited.com.

 

Entry

Away fans are situated in Block A of Bristow’s Bench (seating) and Wollens Terrace (standing), and will enter the ground via the turnstiles on the lane between Plainmoor and Spires College.

 

Travel

We are pleased to confirm that the club will now be running official coach travel to the fixture. Sales will go on sale at 10am on Thursday 4 August, both online and in person at the Ticket Office.

A 49-seater has been arranged with a departure time of 6.30am from Boundary Park.

Adults £35
Under 18s £30

To book your space(s) on the coach online, please click here.

Please note the option to book spaces will only be available when sales commence as above.

 

Ticket Office

The Ticket Office in the Main Stand is open for the remainder of the week at the following times:

Thursday 4 August 10am-8pm
Friday 5 August 10am-8pm
Saturday 6 August 9am-1pm

Should you require further information or assistance in purchasing tickets for this fixture, please email supporter.services@oldhamathletic.co.uk or phone 01617855150.

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