Oldham’s relegation confirmed following chaotic scenes at Boundary Park

Latics’ clash with Salford was halted due to fan protests on the pitch with 79 minutes of the game gone.

By Press Association Published: 23 April 2022 - 7.14pm

Oldham’s 115-year stay in the Football League came to a chaotic end at Boundary Park.

A 79th-minute pitch invasion by Latics fans protesting against owner Abdallah Lemsagam initially halted proceedings with Salford leading 2-1 and the club’s relegation rivals Stevenage and Barrow both leading in their fixtures.

Both sets of players were escorted off the field by referee Bobby Madley, with the last of the protestors then not leaving the pitch for almost an hour.

After an initial announcement at the ground that the game had been abandoned, the EFL later insisted it must restart, which it did at 6.28pm behind closed doors.

The final 11 minutes plus stoppage time produced little further goalmouth action, meaning the match finished 2-1.

Oldham, who had issues with pitch invasions earlier in the season, are now likely to face severe punishment from the Football Association and the EFL.

Earlier, furious fans chanted “We want our club back” and “We’re not going anywhere” as stewards struggled to maintain order.

They also held up a banner on the pitch which read “Get out of our club”.

Salford co-owner Gary Neville, who was at the match, tweeted during the pitch invasion: “Just left Oldham v Salford. Oldham fans on the pitch and it’s pretty moody.”

A confirmed fourth straight loss means Oldham are the first former Premier League side to drop out of the league.

Angela Rayner, the Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, sympathised with the club’s supporters.

She said on Twitter: “Solidarity with all Oldham supporters today.

“You are the heart and soul of this club and it’s devastating to see true fans paying the price for others’ mistakes.

“Your voice must now be listened to. Speak truth to power, stick together and be back stronger.”

The afternoon started with Oldham’s Junior Luamba planting a free header wide early on before Salford replied by opening the scoring in the eighth minute.

Oldham fans spill on to the pitch
Oldham fans spill on to the pitch (Lee Morris/PA).

Former Latics striker Matt Smith tucked home a rebound after Brandon Thomas-Asante’s shot came back off a post.

Oldham levelled in the 33rd minute when Davis Keillor-Dunn converted a penalty after his initial goal-bound strike appeared to strike the arm of Jordan Turnbull.

Hallam Hope headed against the crossbar for the home side before Salford struck again in first-half added time when Thomas-Asante headed home Ibou Touray’s cross.

Hope forced Salford goalkeeper Tom King into a smart diving save on the hour, while Kyle Jameson headed narrowly off target.

With Stevenage and Barrow in front meaning Oldham were effectively down, fans then invaded the pitch and the players were taken off.

Neither club issued any further reaction to the scenes after the game was finally completed at 6.43pm, but the EFL did release a statement explaining the decision to restart the game.

A spokesperson said on the EFL Communications’ Twitter account: “Despite the earlier announcement of the abandonment of the fixture, after discussions with both clubs, match officials and stadium security it was agreed the match could be concluded today.

“The decision was taken in order to maintain the integrity of the competition given the importance of the fixture at both ends of the League Two table.”

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