Pre-Season Friendly at Oasis Academy, Hollins Road, Hollinwood, Oldham
Chadderton 2 Runcorn Town 0 (att 30)
I don't usually add blog posts about revisits to grounds, but the truth is I didn't realise I'd been here before until I got home and checked. What is now Oasis Academy looks very different to what was, when I came in 2009, the Oak Pit Colliery ground.
Back then it was home to AFC Oldham 2005, of the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur League, and was a semi-enclosed grass pitch towered over by some former mill buildings (Google Maps is yet to catch up, so the map below the photos shows the "old" pitch).
Now it's a state-of-art the school, with the pitch turned through 90 degrees and the grass replaced by an excellent 4G surface. There's even a section of open stepped terracing, built onto the front of the changing room pavilion and giving a good view of the pitch, albeit from behind the goal and over a fence.
Some might count such a transformation as a "new" ground to visit, but as there's a considerable overlap between the old and new pitches then by my rules it doesn't count. Mildly frustrating, but I tend not to travel far for friendlies and had few options for a game today, so this was as good as any.
For a friendly it wasn't a bad game. Chadderton, nominally the home side as the borrowed pitch is far closer to their base than Runcorn's, scored a goal in each half. Runcorn were disappointing, and came closest when they hit a post in the final minutes.
Not a bad afternoon out ... just not a new ground.
And this is how the same ground looked in April 2009 (AFC Oldham 3 Santos 0)