Oldham Athletic secured their passage through to the semi-final of the Molson Coors Lancashire Senior Cup with a penalty shootout win over Fleetwood Town.Ricardo Fuller scored his first goal for Latics in the second half to give Latics the lead before Fleetwood forward Ashley Hunter equalised in the final minute to take the game to penalties.
With the scores at 6-6 in the shootout, goalkeeper Joel Coleman saved Fleetwood’s penalty before hammering the winner to send Latics into the next round of the competition.
Latics dominated the game throughout and went close early on through the impressive Mark Yeates.
After a free kick was awarded 25 yards out, the former Bradford City man stepped up and fired just over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, young central defender Theo Vassell found himself in acres of space at the back post but the Fleetwood goalkeeper saved well.
Latics were slick in possession and moved the ball around with confidence as they went in search of the opening goal.
That possibly should have come before the half hour mark as Yeates nutmegged the last defender but struck wide from 10 yards.
On 38 minutes, Latics were unfortunate not to take the lead. Lee Croft’s cross into the box found Yeates at the back post; his shot looped over the goalkeeper but a Fleetwood defender was back on the line to clear.
It was 0-0 at the break but minutes afterwards a majestic touch from Croft found Dieng on the right-hand side to cross which was dangerous, but put behind for a corner.
From the resulting corner, in came George Edmundson storming in at the front post but the defender’s header went inches over the crossbar.
It was all Athletic, however, they had to be wary of the counter attack, something which almost put the home side ahead.
Fleetwood forward Hunter, who was nippy in attack, managed to gain a yard in the penalty box, opened fire but Coleman produced a first-class save to deny the forward from 12 yards.
Latics took the lead five minutes after the hour mark through Fuller. The striker met a cut back from Croft and his deflected shot found a way past the goalkeeper and Latics led.
Jamie Stott, Mason Fallon and Brendy Glackin were introduced into the game replacing Joseph Mills, Yeates and Fuller.
That meant six outfield players were part of Tony Philliskirk’s youth team and they were not overawed by the task that Fleetwood posed.
Stott’s delivery into the box would not have looked out of place in the Premier League, however, Fleetwood managed to just clear the danger on two occasions.
The home side had a period of sustained pressure going into the final 10 minutes of the game but Lee Knight had a great opportunity to put the game beyond doubt but the goalkeeper saved well from his shot 10 yards out.
They would come to rue that missed chance as with only a minute remaining, Hunter headed home to send the game to penalties.
After the Cod Army took a one goal lead, Croft stepped up and had his spot kick saved.
Richard Eckersley and Stott both netted their penalties as the scores were 3-2, however, Coleman saved Della-Verde’s spot kick to keep Latics in the tie.
Seven perfect penalties followed with Glackin, Alex Read, Tim Dieng and Edmundson all netting before Coleman saved Roscoe’s spot kick at 6-6.
With a chance to win it, Knight saw his spot kick saved, however, Coleman saved the next penalty before stepping up himself to win it.
In what can only be described as a goal kick, Coleman hammered the ball into the roof of the goal to secure Latics’ passage through to the semi final stage.
Oldham Athletic: Coleman, Eckersley, Edmundson, Vassell, Mills (Stott), Dieng, Read, Croft, Yeates (Fallon), Knight, Fuller (Glackin).