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Club News

Latics Defeat Gillingham

22 February 2014

Latics got back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Gillingham, taking them one point behind their opponents in the table.

Gary Harkins struck the only goal of the game just after the half hour mark to ensure Latics come away from Boundary Park with all three points.

Both sides started the game equally with neither team really having any clear-cut chances on goal.

Latics possibly had the best chance of the game on 18 minutes. Harkins and Jon Stead linked well down the left-hand side and the latter crossed for David Worrall, but the winger's header was well saved by the goalkeeper.

The game started to become stretched on the half hour mark and Gillingham maybe should have opened the scoring. Substitute Myles Weston evaded the offside trap but his shot was superbly saved by Mark Oxley.

Latics hit the Gills on the counter attack with Worrall finding a lot of space on the edge of the box, but his effort was hit straight at goalkeeper, Stuart Nelson. 

Pressure finally paid off for Latics as Harkins gave them the lead on 33 minutes. The midfielder chested down Worrall's cross into the box and rifled the ball past Nelson to give the home side the advantage.

The home side kept up the intensity and the post thwarted Athletic from extending their lead five minutes before the break. The referee inadvertently knocked the ball to Stead who unleashed a shot that smacked the post and unfortunately the ball was cleared.

The second half started how the first finished as Latics created a lot of pressure with Harkins an instrumental figure. 

The Scottish forward delivered a teasing free kick into the box just before the hour mark and Gills defender Leon Legge almost guided the ball past his own goalkeeper, but it fell the wrong side of the post.

Gillingham threw caution to the wind and brought on Adebayo Akinfenwa and top scorer Cody McDonald and the pair were starting to cause a nuisance in attack. 

With the Gills attacking, Latics almost caught the visitors on the break. Stead received the ball from Harkins, twisted and turned in the area, but Legge did really well to recover.

New signing Terry Dunfield was introduced 15 minutes from time but the home side were having to withstand a lot of pressure from Gillingham.

With less than five minutes remaining, Oxley had to be on his toes as Akinfenwa unleashed a shot from the edge of the area. The striker found space but the goalkeeper got down low to parry the shot away from danger. 

As time looked to be up, the ball fell for Gills top scorer McDonald but Oxley again pulled off a wonderful save to ensure Latics come away with all three points.

Oldham Athletic: Oxley; Brown (Dayton 74'), Wilson, Lockwood, Grounds; Worrall, Wesolowski, Winchester (Dunfield 74'), Harkins; Philliskirk (MacDonald 81'), Stead.

Subs Not Used: Mellor, Kissock, Turner, Rachubka.

Gillingham: Nelson, Martin, Legge, Whelpdale (Weston 23'), Gregory, Smith, Barrett, Fagan, Hewitt, Hessenthaler (McDonald 59'), Pigott (Akinfenwa 59').

Subs Not Used: Linganzi, Davies, Lee, Baxter.

Goals: Oldham Athletic (Harkins 33') 1-0 Gillingham

Attendance: 3714 (230 Visiting Fans)

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