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MATCH REPORT: Latics Come From Behind To Take All Three Points

21 December 2019

After a first half-strike from Lewis Young put Crawley Town ahead, but second half goals from David Wheater and Mohammed Maouche earned Latics their third home victory of the season.

In a quiet first five minutes as both sides found their footing in the game, the visitors fashioned the early opening as a swift counter attack through Ollie Palmer ended with a Nathanial George cross that was easily caught by De La Paz.

Latics grew into the game and started to dominate possession, creating several half chances. A floated cross from Iacovitti fell just too far in front of Desire Segbe Azankpo before diminutive winger Johnny Smith drove at his defender, shooting tamely at keeper.

The hosts missed a guilt-edged chance on the tenth minute as a clever slide roll ball from McCann cut the Crawley defence in two, finding the onrushing Azankpo. The pacy forward managed to take it round the keeper but couldn’t find the net as centre-back Jordan Tunnicliffe recovered just in time to make the tackle and force the corner.

Oldham built on this early pressure as the experienced playmaker displayed some fantastic footwork to sell two Crawley players before playing an offside looped ball through to Jean Louis Akpa Akpro.

The Red Devils took the lead against the run of play on 15 minutes. Attack-Minded wing-back Lewis Young drove forward from the right-hand side and was given time and space on edge of the area before slotting the ball into the bottom corner off the post.

Latics had a Penalty claim turned away mid-way through the half by the referee after Smith skilfully beat two Crawley defenders before being bundled over in the box.

Smith was heavily involved in all of Oldham’s attacks as they sought an equaliser and following a driving run from the wide-man on the left-hand side, the tricky winger found Mohammed Maouche on the edge of the area who stung the hands of keeper Glen Morris.

The final opportunity of the half fell Oldham’s way as a corner swung in from right-hand side found the head of David Wheater and after several flick-ons in the penalty area, Azankpo turned the ball just wide of the mark.

Half Time: Oldham Athletic 0 Crawley Town 1

The home side raced out of the blocks after half-time and after a spell of early pressure, Latics found the equaliser as a Johnny Smith Corner found the head of Wheater whose header proved too powerful for Morris as the ball nestled into the corner of the goal.

Oldham completed the comeback just short of the hour mark as substitute Scott Wilson picked up a loose ball midway through the Crawley half and managed to pick out Maouche in acres of space on the edge of the box, calmly stroking the ball past Morris

The visitors almost drew themselves level just minutes after the goal. Some good work on the left-hand-side resulted in forward Tarryn Allarakhia finding half a yard of space on the edge of the area as his curling shot flew just wide of De La Paz’s far post.

Huge penalty appeals were once again waved away by referee Martin Coy as poacher Azankpo appeared to be tripped in the area following a through-ball leaving him bearing down on goal.

Crawley wasted another good chance on 73 minutes as substitute Mason Bloomfield found himself inside the area following a mazy run from halfway through the Oldham half. Several Latics defenders managed to put the forward off as he blazed his strike over the bar.

As Town left themselves exposed chasing an equaliser, Latics almost extended their lead, swiftly countering on their opponents as Morris was forced into a double save from Maouche and Chris McCann.

Oldham kept pressing their opponents high up the pitch and their pressure almost paid off as a crunching tackle from midfield enforcer Mohammad Sylla sent Wilson through on goal but after being forced wide, the striker was only able to curl wide of the mark.

The Reds fashioned another half-chance with two minutes of normal time remaining as Young picked out Beryly Lubala in the box who could only fluff his lines and send the ball out for a goal-kick.

Latics defended resolutely through the six minutes of additional time with commanding centre-half Thomas Egert slotted into the backline as Latics held out for a richly deserved three points.

Oldham Athletic 2-1 Crawley Town.

Attendance: 2,732 (55 away supporters).

Oldham Athletic XI: De La Paz (GK), Mills, Iacovitti, Maouche (Eagles ’83), Azankpo (Egert ’89), Sylla, McCann, Smith, Akpa Akpro (Wilson ’36), Wheater, Hamer.

Subs: Woods (GK), Smith-Brown, Wilson, Fage, Adams, Egert, Eagles.

Crawley Town: Morris (GK), Young, Doherty, McNerney, Palmer, Ferguson, Nathanial-George (Camara ’83), Allarakhia (Bloomfield ’67), Tunnicliffe, Bulman, Lubala.

Subs: Jones (GK), Dallison, Francomb, Bloomfield, Sendles-White, Galach, Camara.

Man of the match: Jonny Smith

Referee: Martin Coy

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