Selim Benachour’s first game on the touchline at Boundary Park ended in a defeat against Tranmere Rovers on a bitterly cold evening in Greater Manchester.
Early into the encounter, Davis Keillor-Dunn’s excellent curled effort cannoned off the crossbar to the relief of their goalkeeper before the attacker headed wide of the target from close range later on.
Latics thought that they’ve taken the lead as the ball found the back of the net, however, the referee opted for a retake of the corner kick with frustration growing in the home terraces.
However, Charlie Jolley stole the headlines as he coolly tapped in from inside the six-yard to steal the three points in the 89th minute for the Super White Army.
Following an improved performance in the Papa John’s Trophy against Sunderland, the well-travelled interim Head Coach named three changes to the starting XI for the visit of our historic rivals. Zak Dearnley, Jamie Bowden and Harrison McGahey returned to the side and they were looking to make an impression.
Additionally, Nicky Adams also retained his place in the team which meant that he’d earned his 650th career appearance, a truly incredible achievement.
The boys in blue began the encounter on the front foot as they applied pressure on the visitors as Benny Couto tested their shot-stopper. Adams drilled his corner into the path of the onrushing left-back, however, his fierce low strike was well-saved by Ross Doohan.
In the sixth minute of the match, both sets of supporters united with a minute’s applause in memory of Birmingham City fan, Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. Our thoughts are with all affected by this cruel tragedy. Rest in Peace, Arthur.
Keillor-Dunn nearly opened the scoring as he produced his trademark attempt on goal. The creative-midfielder received possession on the edge of the box before he opened his body up to curl an effort goalwards, but it, unfortunately, cannoned off the crossbar with the ‘keeper beaten.
Following that, Adams delivered a pinpoint cross to Keillor-Dunn inside the penalty area, however, he somehow steered his header wide of the target whilst being unmarked in a promising position.
Benachour’s side had the ball in the back of the net, but to the frustration of the home faithful, the referee demanded that the corner be retaken after he adjusted that the ball moved as Couto made a connection with it.
Early into the second-half, Dearnley, who netted twice in the last outing against Rovers, nearly put his side ahead when Hallam Hope flicked the ball into his path before the frontman smashed an attempt from close range on goal, however, Callum MacDonald expertly cleared his effort off the line.
After being introduced from the bench, Liam Feeney endeavoured to be the cutting edge for Merseyside-based outfit. The veteran wideman dribbled past three defenders before demonstrating an abundance of ability to cut inside from the left-wing, although he could only blast his long-range strike over the crossbar.
In the 70th minute, Keillor-Dunn, once again, was presented with a golden opportunity to get himself on the scoresheet. Adams typically delivered an inviting cross into the area which found his teammate at the back post, but he steered his header wide of the target from inside the six-yard box.
Morris went in search of the hero status for Tranmere with just over five minutes remaining as he rifled a strike from distance, but the former Walsall playmaker witnessed his attempt hit the post.
Buoyed on by their vocal supporters in the Chaddy End, the Super White Army broke the deadlock in the 89th minute courtesy of Jolley. The striker, recalled from his loan spell at Chester prior to the match, managed to tap in from close range to salvage all three points.
Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Adams, McGahey, Piergianni ©, Couto, Cisse (Whelan 52’), Bowden, Vaughan (Stobbs 79’), Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Bahamboula 71’), Hope.
Unused Subs: Southerington (GK), Hart, Stobbs, Diarra, Luamba.
Tranmere Rovers XI – Doohan (GK), Dacres-Cogley, MacDonald, Davies, Spearing (O’Connor 78’), Jolley, McManaman (Morris 80’), Hawkes (Feeney 44’), Foley, Nevitt, Clarke ©.
Unused Subs: Murphy (GK), Watson, Maynard, Duffy.
Goals: Jolley 89’
Attendance: 4,303 (812 away)
Referee – Andy Haines