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MATCH REPORT: Cruel Ending As Latics Forced To Settle For Point

14 April 2018

It was a cruel ending at Boundary Park as Latics were forced to settle for a point as they drew 1-1 with Gillingham.

All started well for Latics as Duckens Nazon fired into the bottom corner on the stroke of half time to put Athletic in control.

Latics forced chances through Doyle in the second half but the game was to turn on its head in the final minute of the game.

Wilfried Moimbe was sent off for an off the ball incident and a penalty was awarded which was dispatched by Tom Eaves.

Manager Richie Wellens named an unchanged squad to the side which drew 1-1 with Walsall on Wednesday night.

It was Latics who started the brighter of the two sides as Eoin Doyle crossed for Patrick McEleney inside the box, it would have presented the midfielder with a free goal but Ben Nugent just managed to get back in time.

Two minutes later, Doyle was set free on goal but Gabriel Zakuani just managed to get back to block.

Scott Wagstaff curled an effort past Johny Placide’s post whilst at the other end, Jack Byrne found Nazon through on goal but Tomas Holy was out quickly to deny the striker.

Byrne had his own chance minutes later to put Latics ahead but he curled into the arms of the goalkeeper.

The Gills started to up the pressure as Conor Wilkinson skipped past his man in the penalty box but Placide made the front post save, whilst Rob Hunt managed to block Josh Parker from following up the effort.

Anthony Gerrard had to throw his body on the line midway through the half as Wilkinson found space in the penalty box.

Just after the half hour mark, Byrne found Doyle in the box but he could not find a way past Holy.

The two combined again as Byrne floated a free kick for Doyle but he headed against the post.

Latics were doing all the pressing and were the most likely to find the opening goal.

George Edmundson almost opened the scoring five minutes before the break as he met an inswinging free kick from Byrne but Holy somehow made the save on the line.

That opening goal did manage to come before the break and it was a second goal in as many games for Nazon.

The striker took on his man in the penalty box and unleashed a fierce strike which flew past Holy into the bottom corner.

It was the goal Latics deserved as they led at the break.

Gillingham started the second half well and almost found an equaliser two minutes after the interval.

Wilkinson found space on the edge of the box but curled inches wide of the goal.

It was an end-to-end start to the half as Doyle and Byrne combined once again but Doyle could not get his shot on target.

Gillingham made a double switch just before the hour mark and brought on former Latics striker Eaves and Luke O’Neill.

Eaves was straight into the action and crossed for Jake Hessenthaler six yards from goal. His header looked destined for the goal but Placide managed to make a superb save on the line to deny the midfielder levelling.

Gillingham really put on the pressure as they launched a number of long balls forward which had to be dealt with by the Latics defence.

On 75 minutes, however, Athletic almost doubled their lead as Byrne picked out the onrushing Doyle but the striker hit the stanchion at the back of the goal.

It was a nervy last 15 minutes for Latics who had to withstand a lot of pressure.

However, in the final minute of the game, the game was to turn on its head as Moimbe received his marching orders for an off the ball incident.

The referee consulted his linesman and awarded a penalty kick to the amazement of everyone in the stadium.

After a lengthy stoppage, Eaves stepped up and despite Placide diving the right way, it went into the corner to equalise.

Oldham Athletic: Placide, Moimbe, Gerrard, Edmundson, Hunt, Fane, Gardner, McEleney (Nepomuceno 69’), Byrne, Nazon (Holloway 84’), Doyle (Hamer 90+2’).

Subs not used: De La Paz, Pringle, Obadeyi, Benteke.

Gillingham: Holy, Garmston (List 73’), Ehmer, Zakuani, Wagstaff, Hessenthaler, Wilkinson (Eaves 58’), Parker, Nugent (O’Neill 58’), Reilly, Byrne.

Subs not used: Hadler, Ogilvie, Stevenson, Nasseri.

Goals: Oldham Athletic (Nazon 45’) 1-1 Gillingham (Eaves 90+2’)

Attendance: 3,850 (215 visiting supporters)


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