Report: Oldham Athletic 1-0 Bolton
Ten men Oldham Athletic pulled off a victory that gave their survival hopes a shot in the arm, whilst consigning Wanderers to a second successive defeat on their travels.
A scrappy goal from Lee Erwin after Michael Ngoo saw red proved to be enough for the hosts despite Wanderers throwing everything they could to get a goal – even hitting the woodwork on two occasions.
There was just the one change from the side that were defeated at Scunthorpe United seven days earlier with Derik coming in for Conor Wilkinson. There was a change in shape in the middle with Josh Vela playing in an advanced role behind Adam Le Fondre.
Wanderers started brightly with their hosts looking nervy in the early stages. The travelling support of 3,400 was in fine voice from the off.
The first corner of the game went to Oldham, but there was a lot of pushing and shoving in the box which resulted in a Wanderers free-kick.
The game soon settled down and Oldham were starting to keep their foot on the ball.
Filipe Morais’ failure to clear the ball from danger resulted in Lee Erwin flashing the ball wide of Mark Howard’s left hand post.
A miss-kick from Connor Ripley put some unnecessary pressure in his defenders when Morais intercepted. Wanderers were hungry to make the most of this unexpected opportunity but Oldham eventually cleared their lines after several attempts.
Darren Pratley spurned Wanderers’ best chance when he fired over from 15 yards after Morais picked him out with a drag back.
Wanderers’ constant pressure resulted in three successive corners, the latter of which saw a chance fall to Pratley who half-volleyed over the bar.
No changes were made during the interval with Wanderers attacking the end which housed their vociferous supporters.
Wanderers attacked from the off and a good move culminated in Derik finding the advancing Morais, who was thwarted by the quick thinking of Ripley who charged off his line to narrow the angle.
Dervite was the first Wanderer to have his name taken by the referee for a clumsy challenge on Banks after 50 minutes.
The hosts almost broke the deadlock when Paul Green’s drive through a sea of shirts only to find Howard who firmly held on to the effort.
The game was heating up at both ends by now and a goal appeared to be inevitable.
A deep Moxey cross found the head of Pratley but the Wanderers skipper was unable to direct his chance past Ripley.
Wanderers stepped up another gear and Morais’ cross was cleared off the line by McLaughlin defender who was under intense pressure from Pratley at the far post.
The visitors were given a boost when Michael Ngoo was dismissed after being shown a second yellow for a clash with Pratley.
Wanderers were looking to make their numerical advantage count right away and were camped in their opponents’ half.
Phil Parkinsonmade his first change on 70 minutes with Clayton coming of for Pratley. A change in shape ensued with Wanderers looking to up the ante from an attacking perspective.
Spearing skewed his left footer from distance well wide.
But a rare foray into the Wanderers third almost saw Erwin open the scoring but he fluffed his lines with only Howard to beat shooting horribly wide.
But the deadlock was broken with 15 minutes to go against the run of play when Erwin bundled the ball over the line.
The visitors almost restored parity seconds later when Dervite’s powerful drive was cleared off the line.
Parkinson made another attacking change when Henry came on for Moxey as Wanderers tried to do everything they could to get back in the game.
Wanderers were laying siege to the Oldham goal, but were struggling to find a way past Ripley.
The hosts had the bar to thank for keeping their lead when Le Fondre turned Derik’s low srive onto the woodwork.
Parkinson’s last throw of the dice saw Long come on for Derik for the final five minutes.
And in the first minute of injury time Long volleyed a thunderous strike against the cross bar which was eventually cleared.
Wanderers did everything but score but luck wasn’t on their side today.