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Match Reports

Latics 1-0 Salford City

31 August 2021

© Eddie Garvey

Latics begin their Papa John’s Trophy journey in style as Carl Piergianni proved to be the difference between his current and former side.

The hosts took the lead in the 43rd minute when Piergianni climbed above his marker to head past Salford’s shot-stopper.

Latics managed the second-half well, however, they did suffer a moment of panic when Kelly N’Mai teed up Hayden Campbell inside the box and, from a tight angle, managed to hit the post with five minutes left in the match.

Following our victory against Sutton United, Keith Curle constructed six changes for the Papa John’s Trophy clash with the Head Coach handing second-year scholar Benny Couto his professional debut after impressing in the Youth Team.

In the opening stages, Dylan Fage was presented with a golden opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet. Nicky Adams possessed great vision as he slotted the Frenchman one-on-one with the goalkeeper, however, he couldn’t keep his composure and blasted his effort over the crossbar.

Following that, Callum Whelan demonstrated his hunger to win possession off the visitors and then drove forward with intent before the former Manchester United man tried his luck from 35-yards, but it sailed over the target.

Gary Bowyer witnessed his side finally attack the Latics backline and they nearly broke the deadlock as Brandon Asante produced a bicycle-kick inside the box which looked goal bound, but Couto managed to clear it off the line.

Just before the interval, the host took the lead as the skipper led by example as he scored against his former club. Faysal Bettache delivered his corner onto the head of Piergianni and the towering defender steered his attempt past Zach Jeacock and into the back of the net.  

Early into the second-half, Bettache channelled his inner David Beckham when he saw the ‘keeper off his line which resulted in him trying his luck from inside his own half, however, the QPR loanee dragged his effort wide of the target.

Matt Sargent looked to get his side level when he picked up the ball, dribbled goalwards and then sweetly-struck from distance which Jayson Leutwiler had to be alert to get down and deny the midfielder.

The Ammies nearly pulled themselves level with five minutes to go as N’Mai did well inside the box to manufacture a bit of space to pass to substitute Campbell before his effort hit the far post from a tight angle with Leutwiler managing to pick up the ball on the line as Latics impressively made it three wins in a week.

Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Adams (Hope 69’), Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Da Silva 46’), Jameson, Bettache (Luamba 76’), Bowden, Fage, Piergianni (C), Couto.

Subs: Danielewicz, Vaughan, Diarra, Sheehan.

Goals: Piergianni 43’

Salford City XI – Jeacock (GK), Touray (Ndaba 62’), Golden, Smith, Turnbull (C), Melhado, Denny (Campbell 62’), Sargent, N’Mai, Hunter (Willock 46’), Asante.

Subs: Torrance (GK), Smith.

Attendance: 1,915 (252 away)

Referee – James Oldham

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