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MATCH REPORT: Latics Forced To Settle For Point

11 April 2018

Oldham Athletic had to settle for a point at home to Walsall as the sides played out a 1-1 draw.

Jack Fitzwater put the Saddlers ahead on 34 minutes as he volleyed home at close range after Johny Placide saved an initial header.

However, Latics were level before the half ended as Duckens Nazon managed to create space for himself inside the penalty area and he smashed into the bottom corner to equalise.

Latics had efforts in the second half to win the game with Nazon forcing a good save from Liam Roberts but both sides had to settle for a point at Boundary Park.

Manager Richie Wellens named Anthony Gerrard back in his starting 11 for the game, whilst there was also a start for Nazon who started his first game since Bury.

Latics started well and knocked the ball around well. Nazon dummied the ball to Jack Byrne who spread it wide to Patrick McEleney but his effort was off target.

Athletic had to be wary at the other end as Julien Ngoy found space following a good run from George Dobson but Johny Placide made the save.

Nazon had an effort on 12 minutes which flew past the post whilst on 15 minutes, the striker almost put Latics ahead with an acrobatic effort.

His overhead kick from 12 yards landed on top of the roof of the goal as Latics knocked on the door of the opening goal.

Latics continued to dominate the possession, however, had to be wary of the counter attack.

Just after the half hour mark, Placide was forced to make a save from Ngoy who managed to get behind the defence.

From the resulting corner, Walsall managed to take the lead. Placide made a good save from Jon Guthrie who rose highest from the corner but Fitzwater volleyed home the rebound to put the visitors ahead.

That goal came against the run of play and rocked Latics but they did manage to get on level terms on the stroke of half time.

Nazon picked up the ball on the left, danced his way into the penalty area and fired into the bottom corner to draw Latics level at the break.

It was a bright opening to the second half from Latics who created a number of chances to take the lead.

A Byrne effort was blocked on 54 minutes, whilst seconds later Latics were almost ahead.

Nazon managed to shoot from inside the penalty box which deflected off Fitzwater and almost went into the goal but Liam Roberts managed to claw the ball away with one hand.

From the resulting corner, Byrne’s inswinging corner hit the crossbar but went over.

Athletic did all the pressing and again almost found themselves ahead on the hour mark.

Nazon swivelled on the edge of the box and unleashed a thunderous effort but Liam Roberts somehow managed to tip the ball around the post.

Both sides made changes as Wellens introduced Aaron Holloway and Tope Obadeyi into the action as they looked for a way back into the game.

Doyle was always a threat in the box and he saw an effort saved on 74 minutes, whilst at the other end, Amadou Bakayoko managed to split the defenders but could not head home from 12 yards.

Both sides had chances to win the game in the final couple of minutes as Bakayoko rose highest from a free kick into the box but his effort was tipped over by Placide.

At the other end, Holloway headed goalwards from a corner but his effort was punched off the line by Roberts as it ended goalless.

Oldham Athletic: Placide, Moimbe, Gerrard, Edmundson, Hunt, Fane, Gardner, Byrne (Davies 90’), McEleney (Obadeyi 75’), Nazon (Holloway 69’), Doyle.

Subs not used: De La Paz, Hamer, Nepomuceno, Pringle.

Walsall: Roberts, Leahy, Dobson, Guthrie, Devlin, Chambers, Morris, Kinsella, Ngoy (Shaibu 68’), Bakayoko, Fitzwater.

Subs not used: Gillespie, Cuvelier, Oztumer, Flanagan, Roberts, Kouhyar.

Goals: Oldham Athletic (Nazon 45’) 1-1 Walsall (Fitzwater 34’)

Attendance: 3,424 (237 visiting supporters)


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