Latics secure their second win in the EFL Trophy as Danny Rowe’s free-kick and Zak Dearnley’s late strike were enough to separate the two sides.
Harry Kewell named five changes to his starting XI which saw him hand Dylan Bahamboula his full debut after an impressive display against Colchester United at the weekend. Ian Lawlor, on loan from Doncaster Rovers, was allowed to face his parent club from the EFL Trophy clash.
In the seventh minute, Cameron John should’ve put his side ahead when Ben Whiteman delivered a cross into the box and it was deflected into the path of John, but the left-back snatched at his opportunity and blasted his strike over the crossbar.
Darren Moore’s side continued to apply pressure on Latics, and veteran James Coppinger nearly put his side ahead direct from a corner. The winger tried to curl his delivery into Lawlor’s near post, but the goalkeeper adjusted his body to get across and palm the effort out.
The hosts had a great chance of their own moments later as Jordan Barnett played a fantastic reverse pass to cut Doncaster’s defence open. Bobby Grant got onto the end of it, but from an angle, he dragged his low attempt wide of the post.
The Rochdale born, Whiteman, caused more problems for Oldham to deal with as this time he had great vision to slot Madger Gomes free inside the 18-yard-box, but Lawlor raced off his line and produced a fine block to keep the score level.
34th minutes gone and Coppinger produced a perfect delivered onto the head of Tyeece John-Jules from a corner and the Arsenal loanee’s header was brilliantly saved by Lawlor, the shot-stopper showed impressive reflexes.
Latics started the second-half in a positive manner and came close to taking the lead through substitute Dearnley. Grant floated a cross to the back post and Dearnley got onto the end of the delivery, but his header looped just past the post.
Following that, Rowe struck a free-kick from 25-yards out over the wall and it looked destined for the bottom corner, but Louis Jones manages to get down well and keep the striker out.
However, Donny were still posing a threat and they produced a slick counter-attack which resulted in John being slotted in behind the Oldham backline. The full-back under the onrushing Lawlor, but Sido Jombati was there to clear it off the line.
Harry Kewell’s side made the breakthrough in the 67th minute as Latics won a free-kick from around 25-yards from goal. Rowe stepped up and again and this time got his rewards as his strike flew over the wall before going under the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Carl Piergianni showed fantastic bravery to keep his side ahead as the ball fell to substitute Ed Williams inside the penalty area and he struck goalwards, but the central defender through his body in front of the shot.
Latic sealed the victory with only minutes left as Ben Garrity did well to race down the left flank and pull the ball back to Dearnley on the edge of the box and the forward blasted his effort into the top corner to seal Latics’ first win against Doncaster since November 2016.
Oldham Athletic XI – Lawlor (GK), Jombati, Piergianni ©, Whelan, Rowe, Keillor-Dunn (Garrity 69’), Grant (Blackwood 82’), Fage, Barnett, Bahamboula (Dearnley 46’), Hamer.
Subs – Chapman, McAleny, Hough, Sutton.
Goals: Rowe 67’, Dearnley 86’
Doncaster Rovers XI – Jones (GK), Halliday, Anderson, Wright, Gomes, Whiteman ©, Okenabirhie, Richards (Williams 70’), John-Jules, John, Coppinger (Taylor 46’).
Subs – Bottomley (GK), Butler. Hasani, Ravenhill, Blythe.
Referee – Tom Nield