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Match Reports

Latics 2-1 Bristol Rovers

8 February 2022

© Eddie Garvey
Match Reports

Latics 2-1 Bristol Rovers

8 February 2022

Latics made it back-to-back wins after producing a thoroughly professional performance against an in-form Bristol Rovers.

Davis Keillor-Dunn made an instant impact as he fired the opening goal of the match inside the first minute with an empathic finish whilst clean through on goal.

After Junior Luamba’s strike was disallowed, Keillor-Dunn doubled his own, and his side’s, tally for the evening as he neatly found the bottom corner from close range which further lifted the atmosphere.

Bristol Rovers responded just before half-time when Sam Nicholson, from an acute angle, slotted his low strike into the back of the net, but Latics demonstrated great solidity to hold on for the win.

At the weekend, John Sherodan's side produced a dramatic victory against Scunthorpe United and the manager made two changes to his line-up, as Dylan Bahamboula and Junior Luamba returned to the side.

Unfortunately, Mike Fondop missed out through concussion protocol following sustaining a head injury last time out. Tope Obadeyi was also unavailable for the encounter as he struggled with his fitness after returning to action on Saturday.

Latics’ last triumph over the visitors on home turf was back in April 2010 as Lewis Guy and Deane Smalley found the target in order to secure a 2-0 scoreline with the current squad endeavouring for a similar outcome after they opened the scoring inside a minute.

A defensive mistake allowed Nicky Adams to play Keillor-Dunn through one-on-one with Anssi Jaakola and Oldham’s talisman remained composed as he smashed his attempt past the ‘keeper into the roof of the net. 

Moments later, Luamba, coming into the game full of confidence, thought that he’d made it two goals in as many games for himself after slotting inside the near post, however, the assistant had already raised his flag. It was a very tight call.

Aaron Collins - who has previously played under Shez - ran riot at Boundary Park in the final encounter of last season for Forest Green Rovers, and he demonstrated his quality when he adjusted his body on the edge of the area to steer a low effort towards the bottom corner, but he was excellently denied by Danny Rogers.

With the Athleticos creating an electric atmosphere in the terraces, Bahamboula strived to entertain with a trademark individual piece of brilliance. The flamboyant attacker glided past a defender before cutting inside to try his luck from 30 yards out, but the shot-stopper produced a fine save to keep him at bay.

From the resulting corner, Shez witnessed his side double their lead courtesy of Keillor-Dunn again. Adams delivered a pinpoint corner to Carl Piergianni, and then, the towering skipper directed the ball into the path of his team-mate, and he managed to tap in from inside the six-yard box.

Visiting manager Joey Barton will have adapted his half-time team talk as his side pulled a goal back just before the interval. Fresh off the bench, Nicholson persisted with possession as he kept his cool from a tight angle as he placed a low effort under the goalkeeper which gave the travelling contingent a glimmer of hope.

Early in the second half, Adams continued to torment their backline with his instrumental crossing ability. Callum Whelan illustrated immense vision to produce a reserve pass towards the veteran on the left-hand side, but Christopher Missilou couldn’t make any contact on his delivery across the face of goal.

Keillor-Dunn forced his way down the right-flank before he crossed towards Luamba, the forward contrived a glancing header that looked bound for the goal, however, Jaakola, remarkably, tipped his attempt over his crossbar.

In the 79th minute, controversy arrived as the referee failed to award Latics a goal which sparked frustration amongst the home crowd. Whelan cannoned an effort off the crossbar before it bounced over the line - players reeled away in celebration - but the official declared it not to be a goal.

As the final whistle neared, Bahamboula dribbled to the byline, and then, expertly pulled it back to Adams, however, his effort, that lacked conviction, went straight at the goalkeeper to his relief.

The visitors were gifted a free-kick with minutes to spare after Jordan Clarke tripped up Sam Finlay in a dangerous position. Luke Thomas stepped up to take the free-kick, but his well-struck set-piece was tipped over the crossbar by Rogers as Bristol Rovers tasted defeat for the first-time since the start of December.


Oldham Athletic: Rogers, Clarke, Hart, McGahey, Piergianni (c), Adams, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Bahamboula, Missilou, Luamba (Hunt 83’).

Unused Subs: Leutwiler, Fage, Da Silva, Hopcutt, Couto.

Goals: Keillor-Dunn 1’, 31’

Bristol Rovers: Jaakola, Finley, Collins, E.Anderson (H.Anderson 74’), Coutts (c), Anderton (Thomas 65’), Connolly, Evans (Nicholson 24’), Saunders, Harries, Hoole.

Unused Subs: Ward, Spence, Whelan.

Goals: Nicholson 44’

Attendance: 5,137 (372 away)

Referee: Scott Oldham

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