FA Cup hero Smith earns Oldham a replay at Everton

After Oldham Athletic’s recent triumph of knocking Liverpool FC out of the FA Cup, they went on to face another Merseyside team, Everton FC. As usual, we like to do everything we can to support our local team, so this was an opportunity not to be missed.

As official match sponsors for the game on Saturday, we were given a table in the Sponsorship Suite at Boundary Park. Naturally, many of the Webbies wanted to attend so it was only fair that we had a raffle style draw of the tickets. Chosen by our Chief Executive Craig, the lucky winners included myself, Naomi, Viv, Anel, Graham, Shaun and Richard.

Upon arrival at Boundary Park, we were greeted with a champagne reception and given complimentary gifts including an official match programme, a booklet and a fixtures wall poster. We were shown to our seats for the day where we had a great view of the pitch. Funnily enough, we were located just above the WAUKCE banner and directly opposite the ITV1 studio. Despite our best efforts, we weren’t spotted on TV but the banner was clear to see.

As we tucked into a delicious three course meal, we listened to pre-match analysis and some interesting facts including that there are 59 teams between Everton and Oldham Athletic in the English football league.

The excitement really kicked in when Craig and our Training Manager, Shaun went onto the pitch to deliver the match ball. They took centre stage and got to shake hands with both captains. Despite being a little nervous, they didn’t fall over and returned in one piece to enjoy the game!

Only 13 minutes in, Oldham Athletic stunned everyone when Jordan Obita scored off a cross from Lee Croft giving Latics the early lead. The goal took the roof off the remaining three stands of Boundary Park giving the lads the confidence they needed. Everton equalised shortly after with a goal from Victor Anichebe, meaning it was 1-1 going into half time. Early into the second half, a goal from Phil Jagielka put Everton in the lead and it appeared that FA Cup glory was slipping away from Oldham. But determination shone through and when golden boy Matt Smith came on, things changed. Out of play since the Liverpool game due to a shoulder injury, Smith scored a crucial equaliser in the 95th minute and Oldham bagged themselves a draw! The stadium erupted and cheers could be heard far and wide!

It took a while for us to calm down after all the excitement, but the fun didn’t stop there. As official match sponsors, we had the opportunity to choose Man of the Match. For his cross leading to the first goal and general passion throughout, Lee Croft was our Man of the Match and Craig presented him with a bottle of champagne. In return, Croft presented us with a personalised bottle of champagne to thank us for all of our support. After a quick match analysis, expressing his jubilation at the game, he presented the raffle prizes. With the winning ticket, Viv received some OAFC goodies including a scarf, mug and giant foam finger!

An unbelievable game, Oldham showed determination throughout and will now go on to a replay at Goodison Park. Oldham Athletic famously knocked Everton FC out of the FA Cup in 2008 with a 1-0 defeat at their stadium. We have every faith in our boys in blue and with FA Cup hero Matt Smith on side, we are hoping to fully knock Merseyside out of the competition!