Latics handed lucrative FA Cup tie
Tuesday 4th December 2018 @ 12:06 by Mark Phillip
Sports

Oldham Athletic have been handed a lucrative FA Cup third round tie at Premier League outfit Fulham.

Frankie Bunn’s side secured their place in this stage of the competition after overcoming National League Maidstone United 2-0 on Saturday.

The third round clash is scheduled to take place at Craven Cottage on Saturday, January 5.

It will be the first time in five years that Oldham have featured at this stage of the competition, having failed to make an impact in recent seasons.

Latics reached the second round in 2014, 2015 and 2016 but were unable to do so last season, instead falling at the first hurdle with a shock 3-2 defeat at Carlisle United.

Recent seasons aside, the FA Cup has in fact produced some memorable times for the Latics faithful.

The club’s best run took place during the 2012/13 season, when Latics embarked on a lucrative campaign which came to an end in the fifth round.

After beating Kidderminster Harriers and Doncaster Rovers during the first two stages, Oldham travelled to Championship outfit Nottingham Forest – two times winners of the competition – and claimed a 3-2 victory at the City Ground in the third round. Strangely enough, Jose Baxter, who returned to the club over summer, scored the decisive goal on the afternoon.

Oldham, who were then managed by Paul Dickov, were rewarded with a home tie in the fourth round against seven time winners Liverpool.

And against all the odds, with the nations eyes fixed on the tie, Oldham produced a shock with  3-2 victory at Boundary Park.

As impressive as the result was, Oldham were unable to turn things around in League One, and Dickov stepped aside with the club just one point above the relegation zone.

In the wake of Dickov’s departure, it was unclear as to how the players would respond for the big occasion against Everton. However, the appointment of Tony Philliskirk as temporary manager marked an upturn in fortune, and Latics salvaged a 2-2 draw in the dying seconds to force a fifth round replay against the Toffees.

But despite their best efforts in front of 32,688, Oldham’s journey came to an end with a 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park.

The following season saw Oldham reach the third round against Liverpool, but defeat at Anfield marked the beginning of a five year absence from that stage of the competition.

Oldham have made over £100,000 from this season’s cup run, and a victory against Fulham would generate a further £135,000 in prize money.

The odds will be heavily stacked against them, but unburdened by pressure, and with Fulham rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, having won just two league fixtures all season, the tie has all the ingredients for a shock result. This is the FA Cup, after all.