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Match Reports

REPORT: Latics Continue Unbeaten Pre-Season Run With Win Over La Liga Side

24 July 2018

An early goal from the spot was enough to give Oldham Athletic the win over La Liga side Girona in their behind closed doors friendly.

A trialist put Frankie Bunn’s side ahead from a penalty in the opening moments of the game before the Spanish side tested Latics' on trial keeper, but a number of smart saves and good defensive work at the back proved to be enough to record another pre-season win.

Latics’ high press caused problems for Girona early in the game and in the third minute a trialist worked hard to intercept the ball in the Spanish side’s penalty area before playing a smart pass across the six yard box for Johan Branger-Engone.

His first-time shot was blocked on the line by the Girona defender, who was ruled to have handled the ball by the referee.

The resulting penalty was converted by a trialist, sending the keeper the wrong way.

The La Liga team continued to play the ball out from the back but Latics’ forwards continued to press them, forcing them to go long.

Girona’s first real chance of the match came from a counter-attack but the Oldham keeper stood firm to the one-on-one and was quick to close down the angle, pushing the shot wide.

In the 14th minute, Oldham’s trialist keeper had to come out of his area to deal with a high ball forward, with the resulting clearance falling to a Girona midfielder who hit it on the half volley towards goal, captain Peter Clarke was on the line to prevent the shot from going in.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, Bunn’s side turned on the style and had the ball in the net again, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Christopher Missilou’s through ball to the trialist put him in on goal where he produced a tidy finish but the linesman’s flag was raised.

As the half went on Girona continued to probe the Oldham defence but Edmundson and Clarke were proving difficult to break down and were often first to every cross in the box.

An Oldham throw-in deep into the Spanish side’s half was pounced upon leading to another counter-attack.

As the Spanish team’s forward broke into the box he was just about to pull the trigger when a last ditch tackle by Rob Hunt took just enough off the shot for the trialist goalkeeper to comfortably smother it.

Five minutes from the half-time whistle, Girona worked the ball well down the left-hand side and managed to get the ball into the box.

The initial shot was blocked but wasn’t dealt with and it fell to another one of Girona’s attackers whose shot fizzed just over the bar.

After the break, the opposition’s technical ability shone through with short passing and long periods of possession, but they struggled to penetrate the Oldham defence and were forced into shots from range.

In the 53rd minute, good work from Gevaro Nepomuceno gave Latics another chance to increase their lead.

The winger’s pass into the channel was picked up by a trialist who did well to hold the ball up before winning a throw-in deep in the opposition’s corner.

Nepomuceno received the ball from Hunt’s throw and forced the keeper into a save at his back post.

With 20 minutes left, Bunn had refreshed his side with a number of substitutes and was looking to get at the opposition who still continued to dominate possession.

Latics should have increased their lead on 75 minutes when substitute Giles Coke picked up a loose ball in the middle of the Girona half and played in the trialist who had just come on.

His shot was blocked wide by the keeper and the resulting corner was almost converted by Peter Clarke.

With less that 10 minutes to go, Jamie Stott was ruled to have handled the ball on the edge of the area whilst trying to stop a cross, giving Girona a good chance to cross the ball into the box from the free-kick.

As the ball was floated into the box towards the heads of the attackers, a number of them fell to the ground, but the penalty appeals from the Girona bench were waved away.

From that, the ball wasn’t quite cleared and Tom Hamer committed a foul 20 yards from goal, but the shot from the free-kick was blocked by Peter Clarke.

In the closing moments, Latics’ trialist keeper was forced into another good save down at his near post when the Girona attacker headed the ball towards goal from a corner.

Frankie Bunn’s side held on to pick up another pre-season win, maintaining their unbeaten run in the build-up to the new campaign.

Oldham Athletic: Trialist, George Edmundson (Graham 45’), Trialist (Trialist 40’), Trialist (Trialist 70’), Christopher Missilou (Coke 59’), Jamie Stott, Johan Branger-Engone (Taylor 63’), Rob Hunt (Hamer 66’), Peter Clarke (c), Gevaro Nepomuceno, Mohamed Maouche (Sheridan 87’)

Subs not used: De La Paz

Goals: Girona FC 0-1 Oldham Athletic (Trialist 4')


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