Oldham go for top spot


Match News

OLDHAM will go back to the top of League One if they win at Gateshead. Two points behind Keighley Cougars, who don’t play this weekend, Roughyeds already boast the best ‘for’, ‘against’ and ‘differential’ figures in League One so a win against bottom-of-the table Newcastle Thunder would take them above Keighley on points difference at the half-way point in the season.

Sean Long’s men, who travel to Gateshead (2pm) with a squad that includes their latest signing Nathan Roebuck, centre or wing, drive north to the banks of the Tyne with no fewer than EIGHT players unavailable — the injured Jordan Turner, Kian Morgan, Joe Wardle, Mo Agoro, Adam Lawton, McKenzie Yei and Jumah Sambou, plus goal-kicking star Jamie Ellis, who is left out for family reasons.

They should still have plenty in the tank to beat Newcastle, who have lost each of their ten league games which include a 74-0 drubbing at Boundary Park. Thunder were in the Championship last year, but there then followed a massive upheaval in the North-East which saw Thunder plummet from a full-time operation at Kingston Park in Newcastle to a club which relied heavily on Geordie boys and recently moved to Gateshead on this side of the Tyne, playing at the International Stadium where they used to play years ago.

They are working desperately hard now to keep the flag flying on Tyneside and you can be sure that, like everyone else in League One, they will give everything they have to cause an upset, writes ROGER HALSTEAD.

Roughyeds have not exactly inspired us with confidence in their last two outings, well though they did in mounting that late and ultimately successful comeback at Colwyn Bay, highlighted by Danny Craven’s late try, followed by his brilliant drop goal from long-range.

I also thought we would have gone on to snatch the win at Keighley if both Craven and Adam Lawton had not had late thrusts for the line rejected.

Nevertheless, we can’t rely on leaving it late to reach our best in every game and one hopes Roebuck plays and does well on debut in a satisfying day for the Roughyeds.

They are the ONLY side in the division to concede fewer than 100 points while they have scored MORE than anybody else and boast a differential of 319 — easily the best of the lot.

It could get even better on Tyneside — and I think it will.

Next Match

Crown Oil Arena, Rochdale

28th Jul 2024 | 3.00pm
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