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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
John Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil