Oldham Athletic 1 Yeovil Town 0 match report: Johnson Junior victorious over senior to give Latics hope

 

Boundary Park

The match that pitted the generations against each other went the way of youth and optimism rather than old age and cunning.

On the final whistle, Gary Johnson reflected that Yeovil's 1-0 defeat thanks to Matt Smith's header on the stroke of half-time meant their faint dreams of automatic promotion were now extinguished. On the other hand, the result should ensure that Oldham, managed by his son, Lee, survive in League One. Compared to the heartache both men suffered when Bristol City, managed by Gary and featuring Lee in midfield, were denied a place in the Premier League in the play-off final, the commiserations would be easy.

At the end of most games there is a handshake between the managers and an invitation to come for a drink. Here, there was an arrangement for Gary to stay over and see his granddaughter.

Only once did the emotion of father facing son break through. “I was very fidgety,” said Lee, dressed for the occasion in a three-piece suit. “In fact I nearly got sent off for coming on the pitch and kicking the ball. That just shows you where my head was.”

It was not lost on his father, who spent the night impassively standing with his hands behind his back. “When Lee went out on the pitch, I did think: 'what the bloody hell are you doing, son, pull yourself together'. That was the only time I felt like a dad.”

That aside, it was a pretty ordinary affair. The Tannoy should have played 'Father and Son' by Cat Stevens which seems to open with a line about the advisability of making a substitution: “It's not time to make a change. Just relax, take it easy.” Instead, they played 'Common People' by Pulp.

All football men want their sons to follow them. In Sir Alex Ferguson's account of his time at Aberdeen,  'A Light in the North', there is a charming picture of Darren, who must have been about 10, standing on the touchline at Pittodrie in a tracksuit, seemingly directing the play.

It would, however, require a leap of the imagination for the two to manage against each other competitively. Either Peterborough would have to win an improbable promotion to the Premier League or Sir Alex would first have to relegate the world's biggest football brand and then refuse to resign once he had done so.

Only once before had father and son managed against each other. Bill Dodgin was famous for providing one of the worst football jokes of the 1960s. “Hello, I'm Dodgin, the new manager.” “So am I, mate, let me know if you see him.” He was also famous for managing Bristol Rovers against his own son, also confusingly called Bill, who was in charge of Fulham. Between 1969 and 1971 they met five times. Junior won 3-2.

That pattern was maintained at Boundary Park, which this season has seen plenty of cameras, although in contrast to their FA Cup heroics against Liverpool and Everton, most were trained on the respective dugouts and when the crowd began singing: “Johnson, Johnson give us a wave” both men stuck their arms up.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas