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Match Reports

Latics 1-3 Walsall

19 October 2021

© Eddie Garvey

Walsall will travel back to the West Midlands with all three points after putting three past Latics.

The Saddlers found themselves two-nil up at half-time courtesy of goals from Jack Earing and George Miller.

Hallam Hope managed to pull a goal for his side, however, all hope was wiped away when Emmanuel Osadebe added another for the visitors in the 85th minute.

On the back of an empathic win against Stevenage at the weekend, Keith Curle named one change for the clash against the Saddlers. The skipper, Carl Piergianni missed out due to suspension meaning Alan Sheehan took his place in the backline as well as his armband.

The first-half began in a cagey manner with the hosts having the best of the early opportunities. First, Jack Stobbs’ drilled cross found the path of the onrushing Zak Dearnley, however, the forward flicked over the crossbar from close range.

Following that, Sheehan picked up an early injury which meant he was replaced in the tenth minute by Hope. The substitute raced down the left-hand side before picking out Davis Keillor-Dunn, but the inform man’s attempt went straight at the ‘keeper.

In the 33rd minute, the Saddlers took the lead through former FC Halifax Town man, Earing. It arose as Jayson Leutwiler struggled to deal with a cross and parried into the path of the midfielder around 25-yards out and his strike found the bottom corner as he reeled away in celebration.

Carl Rushworth was called into action, again, when Keillor-Dunn’s cross found the feet of Dylan Bahamboula inside the area and he flicked his effort on target, but the Walsall shot-stopper managed to keep hold of it at the second time of asking after a scramble inside the six-yard box.

Matt Taylor witnessed his side double their advantage just before the interval. The visitors worked the ball inside the penalty area before the ball landed to Miller and the striker blasted his low effort into the back of the net from close range.

Early into the second-half, Stephen Ward tried his luck from distance, but the former Burnley full-back sliced his effort comfortably over Leutwiler’s crossbar.

Curle outfit piled pressure onto their opponent and nearly got their rewards in the 67th minute when Benny Couto curled a perfect onto the head of Hope at the back post, but the attacker was excellently denied by the goalkeeper.

From the resulting corner, the boys in blue managed to pull a goal back as Hope scored his first goal in a Latics shirt. A corner from the left found the 27-year-old as he peeled off his marker to head powerfully past Rushworth and into the bottom corner.

However, Osadebe secured the victory for Walsall in the 85th minute after a mix-up in the defence allowed him to race one-on-one with the ‘keeper and he kept composed to slot into the far corner as the Saddlers pick up their first win at Boundary Park since October 2019.

Oldham Athletic XI – Leutwiler (GK), Stobbs (Vaughan 62’), McGahey, Sheehan © (Hope 10’), Clarke, Couto, Bowden, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula, Dearnley (Bettache 46’).

Unused Subs: Rogers (GK), Da Silva, Edwards, Turner.

Goals: Hope 68’

Walsall XI – Rushworth (GK), White, Ward, Labadie © (Perry 88’), Monthe, Wilkinson (Phillips 68’), Osadebe, Miller, Earing, Menayese, Shade (Kiernan 63’).

Unused Subs: Rose (GK), Taylor, Leak, Perry, Khan.

Goals: Earing 33’, Miller 43’, Osadebe 85’

Attendance: 3,762 (329 away)

Referee – Ross Joyce


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