Football: FA Cup: No brickbats but flying hot dogs floor Durkin

Oldham Athletic 0 Chelsea 2

LONDON HAS its palaces, even Blackpool has its tower, but Oldham? Well, shall we say its claims are more prosaic. As you enter the town on the old Yorkshire road a bridge proudly proclaims the place as "the home of the tubular bandage".

Which was prophetic in some ways. You came to Boundary Park expecting to see the home team requiring urgent medical attention after an FA Cup accident and instead it was the referee, Paul Durkin, who had the St John's Ambulance staff clucking like mother hens round him.

Durkin was hit by something thrown from the crowd which no one can condone. Oldham could face a fine, which for a cash-strapped club would be a disaster. Or part of their ground could be closed. You cannot allow these things.

That is the sanctimonious bit over. For the referee it was not funny, but a few smiles arrived on other faces when the missile was revealed as a hot dog. Mr Durkin will, however, report the incident to the Football Association.

Even Ken Bates, the Chelsea chairman and aspiring FA supremo, could detect a lighter side, suggesting that, as BSkyB had reported the object was a rock, the vendor might sue, but whatever the texture of the bun it helped knock some wisdom into the official.

Mr Durkin was just about the only person in the ground who had failed to notice Celestine Babayaro blatantly using his hand en route to Dennis Wise lashing the ball into the Oldham net. He signalled a goal, the linesman had not contradicted him, and if the home players and a sausage had not gone ballistic an injustice would have been done.

Perhaps a medical orderly whispered into the ear he was treating, or the police, who arrested the culprit, explained the evidence, but the "goal" was disallowed and Babayaro cautioned. Goodbye a potential riot and hello a routine Chelsea victory.

The scoreline did not lie. This was a thoroughly professional job by the Premiership high flyers over a team struggling in the Second Division relegation zone. Even the notorious local weather tried its best, serving up a storm flung down from the Pennines. But the parity Oldham chiselled out, by dint of John Sheridan's master class in midfield and sheer hard work, was surrendered when the legs ran out after an hour.

Perhaps the energy levels would have endured longer if they had been re-charged by a home goal. But, after Steve Whitehall's shot hit a post, bounced off Ed de Goey's head, and then ricocheted crazily round the Chelsea area without finding the net, the plug was pulled.

"We made them look ordinary in the first half," Andy Ritchie, the Oldham manager, said. "The boys have shown what they can do and its up to them to repeat it in the League. If we produce that kind of determination there won't be many Second Division sides who can live with us."

Living with Chelsea was another matter, however, as was laid bare by the quality of the goals. Stuart Thom failed to clear for the first and was punished by a deadly finish by Gianluca Vialli. And Bjarne Goldbaek's skills down the right, that offered his player and manager the second on a plate, are rarely seen in the Nationwide League.

"We did our job," Vialli said. "Oldham did very well and battled and fought for everything. They made us work very hard, but in the end we deserved to win. We know what the FA Cup is about, it's about spirit.

He added: "We didn't play at our best but we did a difficult job well."

They did and, as Ritchie conceded, Boundary Park could have been witness to the start of a winning FA Cup run. He was relieved his side had not capitulated in front of such obvious quality and was also breathing a little easier that Mr Durkin had not been hit by any of the more substantial objects thrown on the pitch.

"Thank goodness it wasn't one of the local pies," he said. "That would have done more damage than a brick."

Oldham might yet need some of their renowned bandages when the FA get round to punishing them.

Goals: Vialli (68) 0-1; Vialli (75) 0-2.

Oldham Athletic (3-5-2): Kelly; Garnett (Swan, 63), Thom, Holt (Tipton, 81); Rickers, Duxbury, Sheridan, McNiven, Reid; Whitehall, Allott. Substitutes not used: Miskelly, Innes, Salt.

Chelsea (4-4-2): De Goey; Terry, Duberry, Desailly, Le Saux; Goldbaek (Di Matteo, 76), Wise, Morris, Babayaro; Zola (Flo h-t, Nicholls, 68), Vialli. Substitutes not used: Myers, Hitchcock (gk).

Referee: P Durkin (Portland, Dorset).

Bookings: Oldham: McNiven, Garnett, Reid; Chelsea: Babayaro, Duberry.

Man of the match: Sheridan.

Attendance: 12,770.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Senior Project Manager

£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment