Oldham drop out of Football League after 115 years amid fierce protests | Oldham

Oldham have been relegated from League Two after a badly interrupted 2-1 home defeat by Salford ended their 115-year stay in the Football League. The club have become the first club to have played in the Premier League to drop out of the top four divisions of the game in England.

The result was confirmed only after a pitch invasion at Boundary Park from hundreds of furious fans who held a banner that read “Get out of our club”, aimed at the owner, Abdallah Lemsagam.

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

Both sets of players were escorted off the field by the referee, Bobby Madley, with the last of the protesters then not leaving the pitch for almost an hour. The match was then initially abandoned before the final 12 minutes were played out behind closed doors, eventually resulting in the Latics’ fourth straight defeat.

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League Two results

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Forest Green sealed promotion to League One for the first time after drawing 0-0 at Bristol Rovers. The point was enough to secure automatic promotion in the club’s fifth season in the EFL.

Exeter and Northampton are in pole position to join them in the third tier as they both won. Goals from Timothee Dieng and Matt Jay earned the Grecians a 2-0 home win against Rochdalewhile Northampton raced into a 4-0 lead at Leyton Eastgoing on to win 4-2.

Port Vale dropped out of the top three after losing 2-0 at Wallsallwho scored through Sam Perry and Emmanuel Osadebe. Mansfield kept their faint top – three hopes alive with a 2-0 home win over Crawleywho had James Tilley feels off. Swindon boosted their play-off chances with a 3-0 win at Hartlepool, Harry McKirdy firing a double.

sutton slipped to seventh after losing 1-0 at Barrowwith John Rooney scoring the decisive goal before Sutton’s Robert Milsom saw his penalty saved. Tranmere lost 2-0 at Stevenage, who guaranteed their safety thanks to Luke Norris’s double. Those results meant that Oldhamwho lost 2-1 to Salford amid fan protests, are relegated after 115 years in the Football League.

Elsewhere, Bradford snapped a six-game winless run and registered their first home win under Mark Hughes, beating relegated scunthorpe 2-1. Harrogate halted a run of four straight defeats as Jack Diamond’s double set up a 3-0 home win against Carlisle.

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In a statement, the EFL said: “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.”

Oldham, who had issues with pitch invasions earlier in the season, are now likely to see the misery of relegation followed by punishment from both the Football Association and the EFL.

Oldham's Nicky Adams and Christopher Missilou talk to fans who invaded the pitch at Boundary Park.
Oldham’s Nicky Adams and Christopher Missilou talk to fans who invaded the pitch at Boundary Park. Photograph: Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

All three goals in the game came in the first half, with Matt Smith – a former Oldham player – and Brandon Thomas-Asante scoring for the visitors either side of Davis Keillor-Dunn’s penalty for the hosts after Jordan Turnbull was judged to have handled the ball.

The Latics’ relegation rivals Barrow and Stevenage won their games, beating promotion-chasing Sutton and Tranmere respectively, taking them both to 44 points – second-bottom Oldham are on 37 with only two games and six points still to play for.

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Their slide down the divisions began in 1994, when they matched their 1990 run to the FA Cup semi-finals but finished second-bottom after three seasons in the top tier. Three years later, in 1997, the late-season appointment of Neil Warnock failed to yield the results they needed to stave off another relegation.

Relative stability followed, with 21 seasons spent in the third tier of English football, including chances in the playoffs in 2003 and 2007, which both ended at the semi-final stage. However, in 2018 the club dropped to League Two and four years on their decline means they will play in the National League from next season.

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