Latics suffer a defeat in the last game of the season as Forest Green Rovers secure their place in the Sky Bet League Two play-offs.
After a disappointing defeat away at Mansfield Town last weekend, Keith Curle named four changes to his side for the visit of play-off hopefuls Forest Green with Davis Keillor-Dunn, Dylan Fage, Dylan Bahamboula and Alfie McCalmont replacing Zac Dearnley, Marcus Barnes, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Conor McAleny.
Ahead of kick-off, we paid tribute to our fans who have sadly lost their lives over the past two seasons with a minute silence and the traditional ‘Latics Remembers’ being produced in their memory.
The visitors started the encounter on the front foot and nearly took the lead in the seventh minutes as wing-back Kane Wilson delivered a low cross to Joshua Davison, he laid it off to Aaron Collins, whose strike from inside the box looked destined for the back of the net, but was bravely blocked by Latics captain Carl Piergianni.
Curle’s side began to create half-chances of their own with the first occurring when Nicky Adams played the ball to Callum Whelan on the edge of the area, however, the former Manchester United prospect managed to slice an effort was blocked by a defender.
Moments later, Adams’ corner was cleared into the path of Fage and he smashed a fierce volley from range, but it went just past the far post to the relief of the shot-stopper.
Once again, Collins tried to break the deadlock from inside the area, but Piergianni blocked the strike before Odin Bailey smashed over Laurie Walker’s crossbar.
Just before the interval, Oldham had the best chance of the half when Whelan had fantastic vision and produced a marvellous ball over the top of the Forest Green backline to the onrushing Fage, but the Frenchman couldn’t keep his composure whilst one-on-one with Luke McGee so slotted wide of the target.
Soon into the second-half, Fage had another opportunity to put his side ahead, however, he snatched at his chance. Adams delivered a pinpoint cross into the path of the youngster inside the area, but the flicked wide from yards away.
In the 63rd minute, Forest Green got themselves ahead as Bailey produced an excellent reverse pass to slot substitute Jayden Richardson in behind, but Kyle Jameson brought him down resulting in a penalty for the visitors and Collins stepped and converted the spot-kick.
Minutes later, the Green Army cemented their place in the play-offs as goalscorer turned provider as Collins played the ball across the box to Bailey as he tapped into an empty net to spark wild celebrations.
Latics looked to get a goal back and nearly halved the deficit as Piergianni rose above his marker from a corner to head goalwards, but McGee produced a fine save to keep him at bay.
Jimmy Ball’s side secured all three points in the 80th minute as Collins raced through the Latics defence before coolly taking the ball over Walker before slotting into an open goal for his tenth league goal of the campaign.
Forest Green could’ve made it four when defender Baily Cargill produces great footwork to beat two defenders which allowed him one-on-on with Walker, however, the goalkeeper managed to deny him from finding the back of the net.
Oldham Athletic XI – Walker (GK), Clarke (Jombati 75’), Piergianni ©, Garrity, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Fage (Badan 72’), Jameson (Vaughan 72’), Adams (Vaughan 72’), Bahamboula (McAleny 58’), McCalmont.
Subs – Borthwick-Jackson, Ntambwe.
Forest Green Rovers XI – McGee (GK), Wilson (Evans 92’), Bernard, Stokes ©, Cargill, Collins (Young 88’), Moore-Taylor, Bailey (Hutchinson 92’), Wagstaff (Allen 88’), Godwin-Malife, Davison (Richardson 59’).
Subs – Thomas (GK), McCoulsky.
Goals: Collins 63’, 80’ Bailey 65’
Referee – Sebastian Stockbridge